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Community & Business

1 February, 2023

Day to recognise First Peoples

FEDERAL Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has weighed in on the Australia Day debate and has proposed two days of celebration, respect and remembrance.


Day to recognise First Peoples - feature photo

Mr Katter, who “celebrates Australia Day every day”, spent the day touring festivities around Far North Queensland while assessing the national debate and said the media coverage of the day suggested “it was not working”.

“Yet it mostly certainly was at Cardwell where the Cassowary Coast Regional Council held its ceremonies, and at the Kurrimine Beach and Garradunga pubs,” Mr Katter said.

He said 26 January should continue to be celebrated as the nation’s annual day, and there should be a second day to celebrate First Australians, possibly on what is now celebrated as the Queen’s Birthday holiday (set to become the King’s Birthday this year).

“I have respect for England, and I revere the constitution of our nation, but I believe infinitely more, that all men and women are equal. I’m sorry but having kings and queens is not compatible with all people being equal,” he said.


The debate of whether we should celebrate our national day on 26 January emerged again last week. The Express asked its readers their views on whether Australia Day should remain on that date...

Read a book the history of it and you'll see why that date was chosen and yes I am aboriginal I hate to think what would've happened to our ancestors if the Japanese would've invaded Australia – Sharon Bowyang

Yes and teach in school the true meaning of the 26 January 1949. Aussie Aussie Aussie – Doreen Mortimore

I don't care what day it's on! I celebrate the coming together of all Australians and new Australians making a pledge to our great country – Gayle Samuel

As an immigrant to this amazing country, I celebrate Australia Day. Yes, celebrate! I acknowledge the good and bad but this country has a spirit and acceptance that rewards loyalty to the flag, My service in the RAN was but a small part in repaying the debt I owe for allowing me to be a citizen. I am Australian in body, mind and soul – Ken Carey

Yes it should. Nothing we do will ever be enough. We don't change Christmas or Easter or anything else for the other beliefs. Like everything you don't want to celebrate or join in don't – Veronica Beckham

Yes we are celebrating this wonderful country we live in. We are ALL Australians regardless of race, gender or ethnic background – Marcel C Gueho

26th January 1949 was when the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 was passed, that broke us away from being British Citizens. That sounds like a good date to celebrate being Australian – Wendy Sheldrake Luscombe

No! We should not celebrate at all. It should be a day of sorrow. Keep it a public holiday and call it 'Injustice Day'. Educate yourselves on the uncomfortable truth. Uncover your eyes, ears and start speaking about the correct narrative for the terrible atrocities committed. Educate yourselves because many are not taught this truth at school. You could watch the free documentary on SBS on Demand, The Australian Wars. Rachel Perkins journeys across the country to explore the bloody battles fought on Australian soil and the war that established the Australian nation, seeking to change the narrative of the nation – Amanda Torrisi

Most definitely, it's the day that we became a nation in our own right – Janet Backhouse

I celebrate it every morning with thankfulness that I live here. I have never in 70 Years celebrated on 26th Jan and probably never – Jenny Murphy

Anyone who lives in Australia and accepts what Australia provides for them should be proud to celebrate Australia day 26th January as it has been this way for many many moons. Aussie Aussie Aussie – Julie Thomas

Definitely on the 26th why change it whats it going to achieve just split the nation further its like independence day the day we broke from British law. One people one nation – Patrick Dayes

The Express posts news stories on our Facebook page every week. We appreciate your comments which may be used in this column.

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