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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia Day: when should we celebrate? > Comments

Australia Day: when should we celebrate? : Comments

By Russell Grenning, published 19/1/2018

Various suggestions have been made for a new date from some significant event in the World War 11 Pacific campaign or the date (27 May) of the overwhelmingly successful 1967 referendum.

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Australia Day option.

The Eddie Mabo Case was decided by the Australian High Court on 3rd June 1992 by 6 : 1 of the seven judges. A strong and convincing decision. The Terra Nullius concept was accepted as an error on that day. It would be a most appropriate date for Australia Day in the future.

KlaasVaak
Posted by klaasvaak, Friday, 19 January 2018 3:44:26 PM
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Klaasvaark,

It would be interesting to find out when the first use of the term "Terra Nullius" occurred in relation to Indigenous land use and land rights. I suspect it was in 1971, in Justice Blackburn's decision, concerning the Gove case.

I've never seen it in thousands of pages of official documents, quite the reverse. It went against the legal position that Aboriginal people had the rights, going back perhaps to 1788 and certainly to the 1840s, to use the lands as they always had done. In that sense, Terra Nullius was never part of any Australian system of law. Blackburn got it wrong, to the joy of BAB activists looking for a bone to chew.

Somebody might know better, but anybody interested could look up an article on Google Scholar written in 1996 by Henry Reynolds and Jamie Dalziel, where they explore the very opposite of 'Terra Nullius', the recognition of traditional land-use, and its incorporation into colonial law around 1850.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 19 January 2018 4:12:40 PM
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Despite the whinging and whining by the usual collection of ratbags on this forum I think Australians are known for their sense of fairness. This amply illustrated with the referendum on SSM. Most didn't have a dog in the fight but they recognised just how unfair it was that loving couples were denied the right to marry and acted at the ballot box to correct those laws.

A sense of fairness wasn't the only Australian trait on display, there was also our laid-back attitude, something I have really come to appreciate in these times of polarised positions and identity politics.

I feel most of us will come to realise we don't really have that much attachment to a specific date, we are more concerned about the holiday and perhaps celebrating a sense of togetherness plus an acknowledgement of how lucky we are to be able live in this country. As well a majority will acknowledge that the current date does represent the beginning of the cataclysm that befell many of the Aboriginal nations through colonialism. I doesn't sit comfortably with me and I suspect many others that some of our first peoples find this date impossible to celebrate in the same way as the majority of us.

If it was answered honestly most wouldn't be that fussed in changing the date and if it helps a section of our community more fully join in the celebration of this nation then we would be fine with it.

Relaxed and fair, pretty bloody Australian in my book.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Friday, 19 January 2018 5:00:40 PM
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And another useful article written in 2008 by Robert van Krieken:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Krieken/publication/249692456_Law%27s_Autonomy_in_Action_Anthropology_and_History_in_Court/links/54a5ef430cf267bdb9082b4e.pdf

A lot of it is pretty heavy but pages 5-8 have an account of the Milirrpum (Yirrkala, Gove) case and Justice Blackburn's reliance on Aboriginal oral evidence rather than anthropological evidence. Van Krieken doesn't cite anywhere Blackburn's use of the term "Terra Nullius", but mentions its use later. Perhaps, somewhere in legal texts, the term is used ?

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 19 January 2018 5:31:41 PM
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This is a no brainer....So it is unAustralian to want harmony in the country amongst all people?

The British whilst still claiming to be a Christian nation...broke at least 3 of the 10 commandments and many of Jesus' teachings when they invaded Australia.

1. Thou shalt not covet...They coveted!

2. Thou shalt not steal!...They stole!

3. Thou shalt not murder..They sure murdered.

4. Do unto others...Another fail!

Yes this is the same British who persuaded the traitor Bob Menzies to allow the Brits to drop atomic bombs on our country.

Yes! This is the same British who didn't want our soldiers to come home to fight the Japanese when we were at risk of being overrun.

Yes! This is the same British who stole thousands of kids from their parents and sent them to be raped and abused in our missionaries and religious institutions. http://www.news.com.au/national/former-child-migrants-sent-to-australia-to-testify-at-uk-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/news-story/7caff6e1077ec3af35a95ac178261520

The 26th January is rubbing salt into the wounds of Aboriginal Australians, who we all know were totally disenfranchised in the invasion and simply should be changed.

What a fantastic gesture of thinking caring Aussies it would be to the aborigines amongst us that we care enough to get rid of this ridiculous day.

People may not realise it but when the horrid invader Captain Cook first set foot at Botany bay he either shot or ordered an aboriginal to be shot.

It all went down hill down from there.

Once again the dumbies and bigots will be on the wrong side of history when we change this ridiculous date.

The aim of a more inclusive, caring and respectful society isn't unpatriotic...

But being too dense to realise you are preventing, it like the pro 26th people do is... Hang your heads in shame!

I certainly won't celebrate it...But I will be thinking of our continual crushing of a most important part of our society, the aborigine, during it.

Australia Day is a disgrace
Posted by Opinionated2, Friday, 19 January 2018 5:38:02 PM
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Minotaur, spare me your insults. Your ignorant and rude comments mean only to me that you are a mean, rude bigot! I of course knew it was in remote communities, so what. Do you take your kids to the chemist to give them a wash? Parental responsibilities should be emphasised when the usual suspects start their racist denigration.

Opinionated2 your hatred of the British just makes you a bigot. The average subject of the crown was far more put upon than most other races. My forebears were just agricultural labourers who were pulling turnips rather than oppressing other races but there you are bigot, having a go at everyone.
Posted by JBowyer, Friday, 19 January 2018 6:26:31 PM
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