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Australia Day: time to remove the stone in our shoe

The debate over Australia Day can be so infuriating at times.

Like so many other issues it seems to have been hijacked by the two extremes of politics.

For both of them it’s a zero sum game where there has to be only one winner.

There is no doubt that ordinary Australians, including our Indigenous brothers and sisters, wouldn’t be within cooee of these two mobs, which just want to shout at each other over January 26, 1788.

What the rest of us think is that on the one hand there have been tremendous achievements since those 11 ships sailed into Sydney Harbour.

On the other hand, we also accept that there has never been a satisfactory initiative, such as a treaty, that would bring our two mobs together in true reconciliation.

The Mabo case, which demolished the fiction that Australian was an empty continent when those ships arrived, was a breakthrough in 1992, but not the end of the journey for reconciliation.

So as far as our Indigenous affairs are concerned, you could say Australia has a stone in its shoe.

And until we remove that stone we will continue to waste time having this binary argument about Australia Day.

What we need is a Prime Minister with vision to lead us to full reconciliation so we can then move forward as a country without that stone in the shoe.

It could be part of an overhaul of both our federation, which Covid has shown is in need of repair, as well as our constitutional arrangements, including severing once and for all our links to the English monarchy.

The current Prime Minister, well, some argue he’s not up to such lofty aspirations.

Time will tell, but like most of us I just want to see the day when we really are all together when it comes to celebrating our great country.

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