to THE AUSTRALIAN
Jennifer Oriel is right (Commentary, 4/12) that Australia Day can be celebrated in an inclusive way that should offend no one. We can indeed dance with the descendants of our first peoples, of seafaring British adventurers and the pioneers who followed, and of later immigrants from countries all around the world.
This does not mean ignoring the fact that, as with most if not all historic events, there was loss as well as gain involved in the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and the subsequent transformation of human living conditions on this continent. One way of honouring this awareness could be the institution of a very brief period of public silent remembrance at, say, eleven in the morning each January 26th. By contrast, the raking up of past grievances to foment national division or for other dubious purposes should be condemned and shunned.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic.