Back in the olden days only birds tweeted.
In 1994 we didn’t have social media with which to share, Like or Tweet about every outrage du jour. Those were the days when if you had a strong opinion about something in the news, the only way for an ordinary person to join the public conversation was thus:
- Find a piece of nice paper
- Succinctly write your thoughts on an issue
- Find an envelope
- Buy a stamp
- Mail your letter off to the local newspaper
- Then wait to see whether it is published as a Letter to The Editor.
Who would bother?
I want to reprise that old Letter to the editor here for two reasons:
1. The Headline is Wrong
The Editor of the Advertiser put the wrong headline on my letter: It should have read “Inappropriate date”, not “Inappropriate day”. It’s totally appropriate to have a day to celebrate being Australian and to celebrate prominent, successful Australians (e.g.: Nurses on the Australia Day Honours List). Of course it’s ridiculous to hang onto January 26th. It’s inevitable that the date will change when Australians get around to electing a progressive government again.
The problem is the date, not the day.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
We can celebrate the people on the Australia Day Honours List without celebrating the date.
2. Long Weekends are Good
When i wrote the letter in 1994 it was the first time that the Australia Day public holiday was tied to January 26th. Before then it used to be the closest Monday. I was doing shift work at the time (12 hour shifts, 2 on/2 off @ Glenside Hospital, Adelaide), so wasn’t directly affected by long weekends. Nevertheless, I still knew a good thing when I saw it: consecutive days off work are a great way celebrate our good fortune of being Australian.
When we consciously de-couple ourselves from the current date, let’s re-couple our national day to a weekend. What a great way to celebrate Australia’s most valuable assets – our environment, climate and accent on leisure.
As alway, your comments/feedback are welcome. Please use the comments section below.
Paul McNamara, 26 January 2017
Short URL: meta4RN.com/ChangeTheDate
Twitter Hashtag: #ChangeTheDate
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