10 years ago, I was celebrating Australia Day with my girlfriends. Back then, it was my favourite public holiday. I was 24 years old. I’d lived in America and travelled to over 20 countries by that time. I still thought Australia was by far the greatest country in all the lands. It was worth celebrating. It was also the perfect time for a public holiday, summer was coming to an end and people were starting back at work. It felt like our last hurrah before reality kicked in.
The next day, with my life packed in my tiny two door Rav 4, I travelled 4000km across four states/territories, to my new home, Darwin. 18 months later I moved to Alice Springs where I became a Remote Outreach Midwife, travelling to remote Aboriginal Communities to provide midwifery care and education in schools to women and girls who would otherwise not receive it. Mick and I also became full time foster carers.
My time in the Northern Territory enabled me to learn about the real history of Australia. Not the fairy-tale Captain Cook BS we were taught in schools. I also learnt the truth about the state of Australia, in particular our health care system and status (in case you don’t know - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have worse health outcomes than people living in low income countries). So, if you’re someone who, like I was, is unaware of the importance of changing the date, if you haven’t ever really given it much thought or looked into it. Today is YOUR day. Spend 5 minutes on the sites you use so often (Facebook, Instagram, google) and have a little search. Go outside your usual realms, look up people and organisations you haven’t looked at before and read their stories. You don’t have to agree with them but you have the ability to understand them. Knowledge is power and it facilitates progress.
Australia is worth celebrating. I want to be able to celebrate it. Just not on the day it was invaded. #changethedate
Some of my fondest life memories are in these photos. Being taken out by Aboriginal elders and being taught women’s business, making bush medicine & cooking roo tails. Getting to experience and see parts of Australia most Australians never will. Continued below - 10 minutes ago