Australia Day on Monday: the 221st anniversary of the arrival of a British naval fleet to dump its nation's surplus prisoners in a distant misunderstood continent. There's way too much going on in Sydney on any given January 26 to take in within the scope of one day, but I make a point of spending at least some time each year joining the indigenous community's Survival Day carnival.
It's January 26 today, and to all my Indian friends I wish a happy Republic Day. It is also Australia Day here. Maybe we, too, in Australia will one day have a Republic Day to celebrate...
It is 220 years since Captain Arthur Phillip took his fleet of eleven Royal Navy ships into a harbour, set anchor and claimed the land in the name of King George III, despite the fact that there had been no attempt to consult with, or compensate, the existing owners of the land, the Cadigal people of the Eora nation.
There was great anticipation and excitement in Sydney on Australia Day with the news that Google Inc. had chartered an aeroplane to photograph the city for an update of Google Earth. Many parties, giant signs, marriage proposals etc were arranged for the morning. The plane turned up after everyone had gone home.
MAXINE McKEW: Are you getting complaints from parents or have you talked to, say, history teachers?
JOHN HOWARD: It is self-apparent. It is obvious to me that there's -
MAXINE McKEW: Why so?
JOHN HOWARD: From talking to people. The increasing number of people I talk to, younger people, who don't have a full understanding of some of these things.
[and later in the same interview]
MAXINE McKEW: Has this come to your attention because there are, say, younger people in your office or other ministers' offices that are ignorant of these issues?