Letter to the Editor of The Age
Susan Rennie engages in much special pleading to try to justify a change of date for Australia Day ("Darebin not anti-Australia Day, just January 26"). She claims that the City of Darebin Council is "simply opposed to celebrating our national identity on a date that is not inclusive and respectful of First Nations peoples." In reality the council seeks to change Australians' sense of that identity and, eventually, the very nature of our constitution and political order.
There was no nation, in the modern sense, on this continent when the Europeans arrived and when Captain Phillip took the first steps that would result in the establishment of the nation of Australia, a nation which today very definitely does include today's descendants of those pre-settlement tribes and from which they greatly benefit, as do we all. It is attacking 26 January as the date for Australia Day that is divisive.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave