Australia Day has become a parallel symbol of dispossession on a national scale: one for those claiming Aboriginal heritage, and the other for the White Australians being divested of their national cultural heritage.
In this hyperbolic mist, the division of those patriotic to one notion of Australia holds a difference of opinion from those harbouring a garish “woke” mindset towards this country. That disconnect is irreconcilable so long as the opposing voices continue to repudiate the validity of the Australian nation.
The gripe from the Aboriginal grievance industry is that it “hurts feelings,” and that, without a “treaty,” Aborigines cannot be expected to be reminded of the arrival of European civilization on that day 255 years ago. They are fond of slogans like “sovereignty never ceded.” Consequently, they argue to “change the date” from January 26.
Many nationalistic-minded people level their fingers at what Australia Day has degenerated into—that it’s now a “celebration” of multiculturalism and all that it’s good for is conducting naturalization ceremonies. To that end, under the constant barrage of a sentimental shellacking, some are now finding excuses to surrender the date. But they’re both wrong.
It was a brave breed of man that could undergo such an unnatural voyage in the quest for knowledge, enrichment, and the advancement of their civilisation.
Only a hardy cove survived upon the slippery decks of a wooden ship, powered by sails channelling the tempestuous winds, with a sextant and compass to navigate the astrological guideposts in an endless open sea fraught with all the perils that Neptune could muster.
Huddled in cramped and leaky quarters, suffering the privation of salty rations; enduring dysentery and other sicknesses; never knowing when an encounter with a giant wave or a mass of rock beneath the keel might spill the crew and passengers into the inky black depths of Davy Jones’ Locker.
When time is unknowable, and there is no guarantee of survival on the arduous passage atop scantily chartered waters a world away from all the comforts and routine that made the ordinary citizen tender. On these decks, true prayer was uttered. But it is those with an appreciation of mankind’s wonders who understand that only those who brave the mighty oceans—and then survive—deserve honouring. Their travels forged us the privileges of our age. Had they not prevailed, what direction would world history have taken? Or, put another way, which of your father’s most hard-earned gifts would you reject?
So it was, that on Saturday, January 26 1788, 40 years before Britain abolished slavery, Captain Arthur Phillip, 48, had led an eight-month voyage of 1,420 Christian souls, including 780 captive prisoners of His Majesty (the mad) King George III 17,000 nautical miles through the Southern Ocean into what he named Sydney Cove to hoist the British flag upon a harsh unknown land.
This First Fleet of 11 ships that had reunited first at Botany Bay on Friday, January 18 turned towards what is now Port Jackson, or Sydney Harbour.
On Friday, the 25th, Lieutenant Ralph Clark of the transport Friendship surveyed the bay and cried, “How good the Almighty is to us!”
While the majority of passengers felt trepidation, Phillip jotted in his journal, “Having passed between the capes which form its entrance, we found ourselves in a port superior, in extent and excellency, to all we had seen before. We continued to run up the harbour about four miles, in a westerly direction, enjoying the luxuriant prospect of its shores, covered with trees to the water’s edge, among which many of the Indians (Aborigines) were frequently seen, till we arrived at a small snug cove on the southern side, on whose banks the plan of our operations was destined to commence.”
It is a testament to the humanity of Phillip’s captainship that all the prisoners arrived “in as good a health as could be expected or hoped for, after a long voyage,” observed the Principal Surgeon John White, from the Charlotte.
Upon Phillip’s insistence, the passengers’ provisions (including prisoners) were supplemented by fresh food gathered at Rio and the Cape of Good Hope. Likewise, he saw that all health was diligently attended to and that cleanliness was stringently maintained.
Those who disembarked from the assembled fleet could hardly have been revelling in their “white privilege”, rather, fear and dread would’ve rent most hearts with a future few dared contemplate. After all, they were starting from scratch, with those expected to toil the hardest being slaves of His Majesty. This was now a penal colony. But it was not “Australia,” it wasn’t even yet a state. This was our nation at the moment of its conception.
The British first took possession of this land, as on January 26 soon-to-be Governor Phillip in all his finery disembarked with a guard of marines in their red coats and hoist the colours.
The following day, Phillip ordered a gang of convicts and their marine sentinels to take up axes, clear the trees, and erect tents. Slowly, over that following week, the human cargo was disgorged although many would have preferred to remain aboard. The local Eora tribe had sent word around about the strange white men, and stood upon the clifftops, surveying these Berewalgal whose weapons were loud fire sticks, or muskets.
The passengers were mainly British, but there were a few Americans, French, and even Africans. Those not in chains were government officials with their wives and children, cooks, masons and other workers with the requisite grit. Given the number of civilians included in the convoy, many undoubtedly experienced a wave of exhilaration at the adventure ahead. After all, these were times of romance and spirit and, unless obliged by marriage or contract, was a journey undertaken of a man’s free will.
And that’s where we’ll leave the national ‘creation myth’, as what immediately becomes contentious is the relationship between Phillip and the Eora tribe. Right here is the point at which those anti-Australians raise their banners and spray spittle as they shout their lugubrious slogans. This is the impasse.
Yet, it is of utmost importance to recognize what a mensch Arthur Phillip was. He brooked the laughter of his peers by declaring before departure that “there shall be no slavery in the new land.” These are the words of an idealist. They were far from reserved strictly for white men.
Naturally, those convicts sentenced to transport would no doubt have grudgingly greeted his remarks given they were dragged halfway around the world in shackles to a weird country full of savages because they either pinched a loaf of mouldy bread or spoke against the king (most crimes resulted in hanging back then). However, that is beside the point.
By all accounts, Phillip possessed the finest character and the richest gifts. He is deserving of his status as the founding father of Australia, albeit, in a long view. For that honour goes never to one man but to the men of the Labor movement a century later. By that time the Eora tribe were subdued, but not in a systematic fashion.
The jolt of modernity had struck the Aboriginal people as the colony expanded, and this might’ve presented the invidious component of the settlement from Phillip’s point of view. No question about the sovereignty of a savage people could ever have occurred to men of Phillip’s era. Had the Aborigines the powers of sailing they too would’ve disregarded such factors. After all, they were warriors. But it’s a mistake to have couched this paragraph in those terms, and quite wrong: as Phillip and his generation were an enlightened type.
He believed them to be human beings and was avowed to treat them as such.
History as we know it is gathered from the journals of the day. That history is interpreted by historians, and if it is not objective it becomes either an expression of jingoism or a bitter construal of all the facts at hand.
The writing of history can never capture the essence, or truth, of the age—at best it stays on the road of objectivity in record keeping. It becomes a series of happenings described, dates and quotations, rounded down to the most important events. Thus synopsised, the history reflects the values of the times in which it was written.
And that is where we’re at today because influential historians of the past few decades have chosen the critical reading of our history to ennoble the Aborigines. They shoulder a collective guilt they project onto us all. Ironically, they do so out of similar liberal instincts to which accompanied Phillip to the new colony; leaving us with a divisive dialectic.
A country that cannot exist comfortably with its creation myth reflects a people divided by a hostile set of ideas. Should we permit those ideas? No parasite that attacks a host organism can be considered benign or well-intentioned. Such ideas, expressed in words or action, should be likened to armed invaders intent on sacking our civilisation.
The facts about Phillip and the Eora people were thus: his orders about the Aborigines were to “conciliate their affections”, and “live in amity and kindness with them.”
He was ordered to meter out justice to anyone who should “wantonly destroy, or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations.” Standard orders they might’ve been, and perhaps intended to elicit the help of Aborigines where needed, but Phillip took them to heart.
What we don’t learn about frequently is whites and blacks dancing together on beaches, nor do we hear of the traditional songs of the Aborigines themselves describing these strangers to the land, which were transmitted on the cultural telegraph among their people.
This is not to mistype the reality of the day, for while it was forbidden for a convict to kill an Aborigine or steal from one, the soldiers were at liberty to shoot them. This they did, not arbitrarily, but in answer to a spear thrown their way. And, of course, not all the governors that succeeded Phillip were as enlightened.
History either allows Aborigines carte blanche to any behaviour, no matter how threatening, based on “indigenous ownership” or the settlers had the right to defend themselves. It cut both ways, with violence inevitable, not just among different people, but between kin. Bearing in mind, Phillip’s expectations of the Aborigines were gleaned from Captain James Cook, who redacted his more unpleasant interactions with them in recounting his adventures, having him believe they were peaceful.
What occurred during settlement was a fact of nature that cannot be manipulated by political agents with an ulterior motive, and all of those screeching for Aboriginal rights have an agenda.
The new world will always wake up the old, and its presence is unavoidably intrusive. What is unnatural is wishing to apologise for that.
Nowadays, the world has been thoroughly explored, and any act of colonial expansion would rightly be viewed by all as aggression. But it’s an apocryphal and wilful misinterpretation of history to foment such discord about Australia. Moreover, it shouldn’t be tolerated.
There is no “debate” about the correctness of the date unless you are unsure of your footing, or have a vested interest in changing it. Either you accept the Australian nation or wish to modify it based on values-centred interpretations of our short history. The sort of interference that has afflicted Canada is being employed against Australia, right down to the study of its “treaties” with their aboriginal people.
Those modifications have beset the growth of this nation in such a fashion as is being forced upon today’s youth in the form of gender transformation. This “social experiment” of Australia has never been allowed to settle, and the meddlers assume the right to keep plucking away at us. What resulted in a class-based struggle for the worker against the exploitative classes altered into an ideological desecration of the racial concept of Australia as being necessarily “white.”
The Labor Party’s transformation, which represented the white working man, into an elitist party for the progressive intellectual, bears testament to that dialectic. The majority of conservatives, holding commercial interests as they did, always supported that change. Suddenly, the essence of Australia was usurped without any credible resistance.
That abhorrence of tradition as wed to history is so comparable to the western liberal nightmare of the USA, one cannot overlook the involvement of the latter’s interference in the shaping of our nation following the end of World War 2.
Prime Minister John Curtin had found himself at loggerheads with a statesman censorious of the very idea of Australia in his encounters with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during those dark and uncertain days of the war. The impact of this devious man on Curtin’s health is believed to have hastened his departure from this mortal coil. Roosevelt made it clear that he wasn’t about to support any idea of Australia and New Zealand establishing any enclave for the white man down under.
Every national social campaign thereafter has involved thwarting our traditions. Australia Day was a tradition long before Paul Keating enshrined it as a national holiday in 1994; his party’s decision—and all who supported it—acknowledged as much.
That tradition began in the early 1800s by those we’ll pay the respect of retrospectively calling Australians developed the self-consciousness requisite to wishing to celebrate the formation of the colonies. In those rough but unpretentious times, communities celebrated with horse races and the like. A national day began taking shape.
Politicians and their business benefactors marked the occasion by hosting festive dinners. Originally dubbed “Anniversary Day”, an annual regatta that ran inaugurally in 1836 is still held, enjoying the distinction of being the world’s oldest such continuous sailing race.
However, the public celebrations only became official in 1838, at the half-century marking the arrival of the first fleet. But the cheer gained greater momentum by 1888, spreading throughout the continent.
An association of patriotic white men, the Australian Natives Association (ANA), began their campaign to make January 26 our national day. In 1988, under the dubious leadership of the former trades union leader and American spy, Bob Hawke, the day was proclaimed a national holiday. This also marked the beginning of the movement against Australia Day, which was not yet official anyway. Hawke’s successor, Paul Keating, officially rubber-stamped the holiday as being Australia Day in 1994.
It is clear, official or not, true Australians will always recognise January 26 as Australia Day. Yet, staunch conservatives are blinking in the face of the onslaught by the Left with Nationals MP Mark Canavan this year calling for a plebiscite as to whether the date should remain.
Every country needs its national story, and the fight is over how that story is told. Presently, it’s a matter of bitter contention. Those Aboriginal lobbyists and their white liberal supporters wish it to be told from the point of view of the dispossessed Aborigine. But even in calling them Aborigines, we’re lumping together what were, in fact, disparate tribes. These activists have known enough to accord the correct tribal names to those peoples and their areas, yet generalise when it suits them.
The expectation of a “treaty” asks us to forget the fact that Aborigines did not organise in the fashion of a nation. The Australian state could never negotiate one treaty because there is no single Aboriginal nation and never was. To expect us to regard them so is to thrust them into hindsight that falsely attributes to them the status of a nation—a concept unknown to them until long after European settlement.
As it is, Australia Day doubles as a political vehicle reflected in the honours handed around, with the most prominent awarded to those based on a fashionable cause or recognition.
This year, for instance, we’re asked to honour a woman and former bodybuilder who shares her “body positivity” message with men and boys. This is a spurious basis for a national honour.
The push to overturn Australia Day has its usual commercial supporters, and the public service, generously permitting Australians to work on this national holiday. Wouldn’t they love that? The World Economic Forum (WEF), the biggest anti-sovereign syndicate the world has ever known, would fully endorse that move. Interestingly enough, Bill Gates, one of those prominent WEF criminals is in Sydney on this day.
Changing the date is the thin end of the wedge. Already, patriotic Australians have the humungous task of working to first decrease immigration intakes, and then, restore our ownership over our country by expelling the quislings of the foreign-occupied government of Canberra and undoing the damage of multiculturalism. Furthermore, what kind of referendum would we need on a new date? Will the future be marked by minority causes inflicting annual plebiscites and referendums on us to keep pace with their manufactured grievances?
The very idea that Aborigines can parade about on our significant days arm-in-arm with globalists invalidates their cause. They cannot unite with those who wish to break down the borders and swamp Australia with the world’s overflow of perennial economic migrants and retain any credibility.
There is a powerful word in the English language and it must be employed both against the assault on our national day and in the matter of an Aboriginal voice in parliament. It is very simple and can be used as an adjective, adverb, or noun: just say no. ■