The Australia Day weekend is always a good excuse to catch up with friends and to think about this country of ours. It's always a bit difficult and again controversy has arisen at the suggestion that this is not the most appropriate date to celebrate Australia day.
January 26 commemorates the day the British flag was raised at Sydney Cove proclaiming a new settlement and the beginning of European civilization in Australia. It is easy to see that some of the original inhabitants may not see this as necessarily positive. I agree with Mick Dodson, Australian of the Year, that we need a conversation on this issue...we can do better.
I would like to propose another way of thinking about dates. Not new, but perhaps more in keeping with who we really are and would like to think of ourselves.
31st July - the date when Western Australian held a referendum and agreed to join the federation with the five other colonies, the last state to do so. Western Australians might not agree that this is a good date.
21st May - the date when the British House of Commons passed the Bill that sanctioned the union of Australia and its' independance. (I think this is the date, would need more checking) I like this date because of the supreme act of successful democracy that this displays. Six separate colonial governments and the British House of Commons both voted, on one hand to join together and become a nation and on the other, voted to allow this to occur.
Few other countries have achieved independance without bloodshed. It is something to be extremely proud of, that this could be done. With all the competing interests, democracy won.
1st January - the actual date of Federation. A good date, but already the New Year has taken that date, and pershaps could be viewed as a merely ceremonial date.
Anyway, discussion should be had and maybe we can do better......
Sunday was spent on an Australia Day weekend tradition - the Handweavers and Spinners Guild Spin-in at Yarra Bend in Melbourne, one of our lovely inner city parks. We are indeed a lucky city. This is only the second time I have attended, and, again, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
How good is it to sit, with friends, under the trees, on a beautifully sunny day spinning.
If you look carefully, the empty chair is mine and my new wheel had its first outing. Perhaps not in the best condition yet, but supportive comments were passed and happily received. A gentle first outing.
Enough of politics, off to SnB.