Australia Day is Bittersweet

map of Australia with pins

“We must be the only country in the world that marks its national day not by celebrating its identity, but by questioning it.” Ken Boundy

Australia Day means many things to many people. The day has symbolism that I personally struggle with. On the one hand I feel grateful for a country that took my family in when we needed a safe place to call home. In 1977 we were welcomed with open arms, sadly a luxury that very few asylum seekers are afforded today.

Why should we celebrate the 26th of January? It merely represents the anniversary of the arrival of the British to establish the first penal colony here and the dispossession and awful treatment of Australia’s first peoples. Could we not find a more respectful date to celebrate this place we all call home?

Today we need to acknowledge our 50,000 year history, and also look to the future and welcome all new Australians with open arms.

What does Australia Day mean to you?


  • Cintia,

    With our new president and his dreadful plans, it is heartwarming to read that Australia welcomed your family. I wish that we in the US could be as proud of our county. Hopefully we will return to welcoming folks as Australia does once again.

    Your blog is fantastic! You offer so much inspirations.

    – Kelly

    • Cintia @ My Poppet says:

      Thanks Kelly, it’s really worrying what’s happening in the world and how governments are treating people who are in desperate need of a safe place to call home. Sadly Australia is not as welcoming as it once was (especially if your skin is brown), but where I live in Melbourne, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive multicultural city, which I love. I know there are lots of good people in the US standing up for those that don’t have a voice, that’s something you should be proud of.

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