Australia Day in Fremantle
August 25, 2016 40 Comments
Last night Fremantle Council had a full public gallery as we debated a range of complex issues. Most in the gallery were there to support the item on changing Freo’s Australia Fireworks. Council made a decision that it will not go ahead with fireworks to celebrate Australia Day in 2017 and beyond.
The City will instead be presenting a family-friendly event to celebrate being Australian on an alternative date. This will be an occasion people can all celebrate together. The date and details of this new event will be revealed once finalised.
What are the reasons behind this council decision?
There has been a growing movement that January 26 is increasingly becoming a day that is ‘not for all Australians’. For many Aboriginal Australians it is indeed a day of sadness and dispossession. This does not just refer to Indigenous involvement but the involvement of many other Australians who feel increasingly uncomfortable with the date and what it represents.
The City has received significant feedback supporting the idea of reimagining our Australia Day celebrations from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
I was proud last night to see Fremantle Council support this change in what I hope will see a wave of change across the nation that will see Australia Day fundamentally shift to a more inclusive and respectful approach.
While there were some concerns from the Freo business community I am confident that we can create a new inclusive event that will give us bigger bang for buck and bring more people into Fremantle on a day when more businesses can benefit. Fremantle
Of course some accuse the Council of just being overly politically correct but I think this misses the point. It’s about respect and inclusion.