Briefly, because this topic has been covered in great detail in your Letters page over the past two weeks, I would like to propose another idea for changing the date of Australia Day.
Why not make our national day of celebration a day rather than a date. This follows from the concept of Thanksgiving Day in the US, Easter, Melbourne Cup Day etc. As John Ibbotson pointed out (Letters January 27) “finding one (day) that nobody somewhere has already claimed or isn’t unliked is unrealistic.”
As we are already enamoured with celebrating our national day with summer BBQs, or on Sydney Harbour, at beachside parks etc we could choose a day in January such as the third Friday of the month. This day would fall somewhere between the 15th and the 23rd of January and would be three to four weeks after Christmas which is roughly the end of most peoples’ summer holidays.
Schools could return during the following week, much the same as now.
I would also suggest that we change the nature of our celebration from a jingoistic one to become a day of gratitude; gratitude for the beautiful country we live in, our vibrant democracy, the peace we enjoy, free press, our multi-cultural society, the first nations people with the longest living culture and for all those who migrated here (forcefully or willingly) to make this country what it is and means to us all.