Thursday, January 26, 2006

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day. It's sort of like the 4th of July, but instead of celebrating independence (because, you know, they haven't ditched the monarchy here yet), it marks the day on January 26, 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor. The only equivalent day in America would be Columbus Day, and if you know the history around that day, you can imagine how Australia Day is perceived by the Indigenous population here. Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, has the following personal thoughts on the day:
It's a day of reflection and mourning, a time to think about what the invasion of their country meant for my ancestors, and on the terrible suffering that continues for many Indigenous Australians. It wouldn't make any difference if the date of Australia Day changed - this is what the day represents for me.
Some articles/opinion pieces to read about Australia Day:
Christopher Bantick "The Old Australia Day-ja-vu"
Michael Leunig "A Picture of Innocence"
Karen Kissane "Latest Outfit Flags a Trend in Patriotism"
Stuart Rintoul "Come Let Us Rejoice"

I spent my Australia Day catching the first season of the award winning Aussie drama "Love My Way." It stars Claudia Karvan, who was in the show "The Secret Life of Us." I was really impressed by "Love My Way"- very well written and the acting is superb. They are about to start the second season here, which is why they had an all-day marathon. There aren't that many quality Aussie dramas on tv, and this one is on pay cable. The first season is coming out on DVD, so if you can, check it out.

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