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Australia Day is celebrated every 26 January, but the national holiday is also known as Invasion Day as it marks the day white settlers landed in Sydney. There has been some argument for the national holiday to be moved to a less controversial day.
Like many colonised countries, Australia is a nation that is torn between moving into the future and making amends for the past. It is believed that the first Aborigines started arriving in Australia in 50,000 BC, and the arrival of the British more than 51,000 years later nearly destroyed Aboriginal culture entirely. Indigenous communities throughout Australia still suffer the effects of colonisation and ill-considered early government initiatives.
A move in the right direction was recently made by the Australian government when, on 13 Feburary 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an official apology to Australia's indigenous people. The apology particularly noted the Stolen Generation and the gap in life expectancy and education between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|