Australia Day is one of my favourite days of the year, probably second only to Christmas. For me, it’s a great day to spend time with mates, celebrating the freedom, lifestyle and general awesomeness that characterises our country.


Yet for some reason it continues to polarise people into camps of those who love to get together and have a great time and those who think that’s a terrible idea.

It’s been particularly trendy this year for people to post opinion pieces about how Australia shouldn’t be celebrating. That we’re all just drunken bogans and that doesn’t count as a culture. That we shouldn’t be celebrating the arrival of European settlers because it’s distressing to the indigenous population. That Australia is a crap place and what have we got to be happy about anyway?

With the qualified exception of sensitivity to Indigenous Australians, these are all stupid ideas. And even that sensitivity seems to be the domain of inner-city intellectuals, rather than anything generated by Aborigines living in traditional lifestyles. Living and working among Aboriginal people up here, I’ve never heard anyone use the term “invasion day” except on the news from Canberra.

Honestly, I’d be open to changing the date, but not to moving the celebration away from summer. And I’ve had about enough of being told that enjoying my great country by having a barbeque with friends isn’t a sufficiently sophisticated way to celebrate.

There are plenty of places around the world where these people could go if they’re concerned that my celebration of life doesn’t have enough cello ensembles. Those are the sort of places that don’t go in for this terribly common barbequing thing, largely because their weather is crap and so are they. I’m sure they’ll all be very happy together.

As for the rest of us: Let us rejoice, for we are young and free.

Make of that what you will.



Garry with 2 Rs

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