Australia Day always brings mixed feelings for me. Many of my friends prefer to think of it as “Invasion Day”. Some demand we change our national day to a date less reminiscent of our tragic treatment of our Indigenous peoples and their long history of suffering and mourning.
At the same time, I remember many happy times in childhood, enjoying the sun, surf and swimming, watching ferries on Sydney harbour and planes fly by overhead, days brought to a dramatic end with a display of fireworks. On those days, I seemed surrounded by people celebrating this beautiful country of ours, a country where so many of us are free because of the trek our ancestors made across the oceans, uncertain of their future, hoping to find a place where they could live side-by-side with others of different languages, faiths and ethnicities.
That’s the kind of Australia Day I would like to celebrate: one that recognises, with humility, that our right to call this land home is tentative; we are at home only because of the generosity and – at many times forced – hospitality of others whose home this has been for countless generations over many, many thousands of years.
So I say thank you to our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and hope that the suffering that this day causes you – and the causes of that suffering – may soon cease.
Now to the giveaways.
As part of Shelleyrae at Book’d Out’s Australia Day Giveaway blog hop, I’m offering two giveaways. On my Lizzy Chandler blog, I’m giving away copies of my ebooks to three lucky winners, their choice of either Snowy River Man or By Her Side. On the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog, I’m giving away a copy of Snowy River Man, plus ebook copies of the latest novels of my critique partners, D B Tait, Kandy Shepherd and Cathleen Ross.
So head on over to win a copy or two!
Note: I discovered the images above while undertaking research for a Master of Teaching at UNE (not completed). For one unit, I created a “WebQuest” on creating digital poetry called, “Aboriginality, Poetry and Song.” Most of these images were taken from an exhibition of the National Library, the record of which is no longer available online. The titles of the pictures are: Dance at the Conclusion of the Cavarra Ceremonies (1845), P E Warburton, ‘Facing the Enemy’ (1875), Governor Daveys’ Proclamation to Aborigines (1816, source: nla.pic-an7878675-v) and Henri Perron, d’Arc, ‘La Vieille Harguant des Natifs’ (1870).