26 January 2021

Barry Corr: “Australia Day has been a distraction from reality since the ‘Aboriginal Day of Mourning and Protest’ held on ‘the 150thanniversary of the whitemen’s seizure of our country’. … The perpetuation of the myth of Australia Day is a signifier of a floundering democracy; an ever-recurring dog whistle; a bone thrown in the air for the powerless to exhaust themselves in a pointless struggle; a distraction from the real issues of treaty, reparations, and building a just society that acknowledges and addresses the stolen country it’s founded on. The 26th of January is a wandering ghoul, dead, but not knowing it is dead. No one owns it, no one wants to take responsibility for getting rid of it, and no-one knows how to get rid of it. … The legacy of the 26th of January 1788 continues to haunt all of us. From an Aboriginal perspective, Reconciliation is, like Australia Day, a distraction. Aboriginal people and settlers were never united, brought together, or conciliated. However, for the beneficiaries of settlement, reconciliation should be an internal process; a process of clearing the darkling glass, of knowing and being known; of being one with the better angels of charity and loving-kindness. Learning to listen to and acknowledge Country; understanding and taking responsibility for ‘the torment of our powerlessness’ are the first steps in this journey. Know the lies for what they are.”