Regular contributor, Carly, shares her very personal take on Australia Day.
Have you ever read the book, The Rabbits, by John Marsden and Shaun Tan? It’s an amazing book for children and I definitely recommend that you do yourself a favour and have a read with your littlies.
I love it because it is about the rabbits that come to a country and destroy the land, take the numbats children, introduce animals and plants, and so on. It is what happened to Australia back when Mr Cook took possession of the east coast of Australia and paved the way for the country to be overrun by the British Empire.
I don’t know my family history: I know that I have Irish and Scottish in me. My fair skin and red hair is almost a dead giveaway. My daughter, Scarlett, she is Aboriginal. Her father is an Aboriginal.
Since I have been with her daddy I have taken more and more interest in what it means to be an Australian and what it means to live here. Yes, I hear all the time that we are the ‘lucky’ country but at times I wonder if the first Australians felt lucky as settlers encroached on their sacred sites and hunting grounds, and took away their food supplies and children. What happened to them was horrible. Disgusting in fact. Can you imagine living with that fear? It makes my skin crawl.
Yet, it also makes me think about what is means to be an Australian now, in our multicultural society. There are so many different men, women and children that live in this country that were not born here; and some people think that they shouldn’t be here. That they don’t deserve happiness because of their cultural background or religion. You would think that a nation that stole the land from its original owners wouldn’t feel this way, but I can tell you that many do.
So every Australia Day I remember to be grateful that we live in a beautiful country and I remember what happened on this day all those years ago. It is something that I will discuss with my daughter as she grows older.
Australia is amazing. We have those white beaches, some untouched land (still), Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and so on. Though, the deadly animals I could happily pass onto another country. Heh.
But in all seriousness, in order to make Australia a better place for the future we need to come together unified. We all live here and we should all respect and care for one another, no matter where you are from.
Please share your personal stories of what Australia Day means to your family.
Carly is a new mumma to her daughter Scarlett. She is an Early Childhood Teacher who loves working with the under three year olds and has been blogging since 2008. Carly is busy with her own business, Little Lettie Boxes, during the day when Scarlett is sleeping. She currently finds the time to update her blog Life Will Never Be The Same on weekends and will always post photographs to her instagram account.