The Lioness and I usually spend Australia Day hosting about fifty people for what has become an annual institution.
But The Lioness was not up to it this year after the stress of my recent bout of ill-health.
However in the end we made a last-minute decision to invite six mates or so for a late-afternoon barbecue.
So there we were, imbibing a few beverages, when all of a sudden about 100 people – who looked to be of Asian descent – walked into our yard, started tearing down our buildings and setting up camp.
All the while chanting terra nullius.
It was scary, but then, fortunately, my alarm clock went off and I woke up in a cold sweat.
However the lesson I gained was an insight into how Australia’s indigenous people must have felt when their country was first taken over by the English.
I don’t have any problem with indigenous Australians protesting ‘Invasion Day’; it’s just I reckon they’ve got the date wrong.
Which is hardly their fault, because they didn’t nominate January 26 as ‘Australia Day’.
It would be hard to find a country anywhere that has not been invaded at least once in its history.
And that is the way it has been since the beginning of civilisation and to a certain extent our indigenous people have to accept that – but not what has happened since.
However I still can’t understand the significance of January 26.
After all, it was just when a bunch of English blokes came to Australia to set up a penal colony on the east coast of Australia.
The reality is the Dutch, French, Spanish, Indonesians or any number of other countries could have ‘invaded’Australia before 1788.
So the original Australians were always going to be up against it, one way or the other.
Don’t get me wrong.
I have many indigenous mates, and will always support them and try to educate others about the issues they face, and the racist assumptions made about them.
But rather than choose the date of a fairly insignificant event in the history of this country, why not pick a more relevant one to celebrate Australia Day, and decide what that term really means?
Why not make it a date concerned with the federation of Australia or even the opening of the first Federal Parliament?
After all, how many Australian citizens – and others – even know what January 26 represents?
Or stopped on the day to reflect on what it means to be an Australian?
For most of us, Australia Day is about having a day off work, draping ourselves in Australian memorabilia, having a barbie, going camping or floating down the Murray River.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but let’s not pretend that for most of us it is anything more.
Australia has always been a land of migrants – be they Irish, Afghans, Chinese, Kiwis, the wave of refugees after World War II or the ‘10 pound poms’.
And that wave has become a tsunami as more people of different races emigrate here.
We are no longer a country of Anglo-Saxon Christians.
So the sooner we work out what being an Australian really means – including recognising the history of our original citizens – the better off we’ll be.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.