While Fremantle local council supports celebrating Australia Day two days after January 26, a protest group is all set for a rally against the same. Reclaim Australia has decided to protest against the local council’s decision. The demonstration will be conducted on Thursday.
There has been a frequent controversy relating to the date of Australia Day for long. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has shown support for the celebration of the day during the weekend. The local council finds it “culturally inclusive” to have an alternate day for the celebration. The controversy has come following claims that the celebration of the day on January 26 hurts the sentiments of the Aboriginal community.
In December, the City of Fremantle announced that it would hold a “culturally inclusive” event called One Day in the city two days after the original Australia Day date. Pettitt said that the decision to shift the date came as many Indigenous people feel the day symbolized “a day of sadness and dispossession”. The #changethedate movement has shown that Fremantle population has a divided view.
Australia Day Controversy – Fremantle Council vs. Reclaim Australia
The city council’s support for the shift of the Australia Day to two days later has been highly criticized by the federal Government. Pettite said that January 28 will be “actually more Australian”. He added that the day will note that Australia did not come into existence in 1788.
On the other hand, Reclaim Australia has shown disagreement to the Australia Day date shifting decision. “Unfortunately the [City of Fremantle’s] move was counter-productive and caused divisions in the community which defeated the original intent of their decision,” Community News quoted the group’s Facebook post. “We know that indigenous people continue to suffer and we also realize that political grandstanding does nothing to address the problems – we call upon the Federal Government to reallocate some of the vast swathes of overseas aid to alleviate and support indigenous communities and services.