OPINION

Change the date of Australia Day to September 25

Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics. Photo: Ian @ ThePaperboy.com, via Wikimedia Commons
Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics. Photo: Ian @ ThePaperboy.com, via Wikimedia Commons

How can we change the date? What would it be?

Well, let's make September 25 the new Australia Day.

Let's face it, if you still don't think the date will be or needs to be changed you are simply denying the inevitable.

What are we clinging to with January 26 apart from history?

The Prime Minister last week argued we continue to celebrate Australia Day on that day because that was the day all those years ago 11 ships turned up in Sydney and changed the course of modern Australia. Yes, that it did.

I don't know about you, but on Australia Day I didn't once think about tall ships, or empires, or events 200 hundred years ago.

I did, however, think about the country my children will now grow up in, our values and what we need to do to make this country of ours a better place.

And the undeniable fact remains that continuing to celebrate this day on January 26 does make a growing part of our population unhappy and upset, with good reason. To me the solution could not be simpler. Change the date.

"How will we settle on a new date?," comes the catchcry. Simple. Pick one.

I've settled on September 25.

Why?

IN OTHER NEWS:

Well, that was the date I'd argued in recent history this country has been the most unified and as one in the international spotlight.

September 25, 2000, was at a period of time when Australia truly came of age and the entire country came together as one to host the Sydney 200 Olympics.

And September 25 was THAT night. The night Cathy Freeman united the country as one.

Don't worry. I fully understand there will be those that find this notion completely ridiculous and they'll be either throwing their mobile device across the room or finding the nearest lighter to ignite the newsprint.

To me that moment is as much relevant to the future course of modern Australia than one a couple of a hundred years ago and more importantly it might just be one our country can unite around.

And finally move on with a decision which has been put in the "too hard basket" for way too long.

This story Why not give this new Australia Day a sporting chance? first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.