New South Wales, oops, Australia Day 2019

Great History as told by Great Men

On Tuesday, a prime minister announced there’ll be a re-enactment of Captain Cook’s circumnavigation of Australia on the 250th anniversary of his maiden voyage to Australia in 1770 because that would be an act of reconciliation with Indigenous people.  That would really show those who like to talk down our history, he said.  It’s important the lessons are shared with the rest of the country, and it’ll be good for tourism and a great opportunity to spark a conversation about our history.

‘The view from the ship’ – one of the flags the  Cook circumnavigation re-enactment might spy on the shores of Western Australia.  Image wikimedia

 

Many leapt to take up the invitation.

On Wednesday, a lawyer and Brexit entrepreneur opined that if you research the debates in Australia at the time of the 1899 independence and Federation referendum, you will see for those opposed to Federation the arguments of losing the trading block and economic subsidies of the ‘motherland’ made them think Federation was as silly as Brexit. Britain has never been a comfortable European, despite being ruled over by a German royal family who married Greeks.  For many who support Brexit, he said, taking back control is not a racist view, it is a de-colonial one.

On Thursday, a country musician solemnly told a TV audience that Australia Day is every day, it’s all about loving the bush which is what Indigenous people have done, but we must never deny that fact that Captain Cook brought the modern world into this country because only 230 years ago people were still making fire with sticks, but, he said, when we get a republic that should be the day we can all celebrate together.

Making fire by striking a piece of metal on a stone, an eighteenth-century tinderbox, English or Welsh.  Modern?  Image wikimedia

26 January 1788: some say it was the day the invasion of Gadigal Country began with the unloading of several hundred convicted criminals on the shores of Sydney Cove.  But, as these great men have taught us, in their very own words, with their lessons and research and anti-denialism, that’s just some weird counterfactual.

Either this week has been evidence of the existence of parallel universes, or history is fiction and historians don’t exist.

26 January 2019 – what a long, long weekend.

A multiverse.  Image wikimedia

2 comments on “New South Wales, oops, Australia Day 2019

  1. Jan Koperberg says:

    I heard the Indigenous Playwright and Director of the Sydney Festival 2019, Wesley Enoch, being interviewed by Ellen Fanning on ‘One Plus One’. Wesley said that as part of the Festival there was an invitation for people to sit quietly on the grass from sunset on the 25 January until sunrise on 26 January, to think about how it was before the 26 January 1788. As a nation, we have to get rid of the ‘young’ image as in ‘we are young and free’. He feels that relates to an adolescent Australia and. adolescents are generally an aggressive, bickering lot. We need to become an adult Australia, accept all our history going back 60,000 (or whenever) years and not have Indigenous history and European history, but one Australian history. You can still watch the interview on iView.

  2. Yes, I saw the interview as well, it was very good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.