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A Reconciliation Day in ACT?

By Michael Reid - 5 July 2016 21

Chris Bourke

Chris Bourke believes we should have a new or rebadged public holiday in the territory: Reconciliation Day.

And the ACT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs minister is keen to hear what Canberrans have to say on the matter.

“I want to hear what people have got to say,” says Bourke, the first Indigenous Australian elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly. “I want to know if they think it’s a good idea, I want to know if they like the timing.

“I’m pretty keen on having it on that first Monday after the 27th of May because that lines up with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, when Australians voted so overwhelmingly to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Next year is also the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision, which struck down the myth of terra nullius, and paved the way for native title to deliver such good outcomes for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so I think there’s quite a bit of synergy about having at that particular time.

“Whether you take the Queen’s Birthday holiday and move it back a week, or you lift the Family and Community Day out of September and move it into that first Monday after the 27th – that is something that I’d like to hear what people think about it.

“People might have a view that there’s already not enough holidays at the back half of the year, so maybe we should shift that Queen’s Birthday holiday.”

Bourke says one option might be to have a co-badged commemoration.

“Other people might say why don’t you follow the South Australian example and give the holiday a double header name, where they actually have Queens’s birthday and Volunteers Day.

“We could have Queen’s Birthday and Reconciliation Day, so there’s a range of options there.

“I just want to hear what people have to say about any of those ideas, or whether they think this is a good idea or not.”

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
A Reconciliation Day in ACT?
Masquara 7:33 pm 06 Jul 16

How about a Gratitude Day instead, where we ALL reflect on how lucky we are to live in Australia where we are largely protected from terrorism, have socialised medicine, a generous welfare net, sunshine and good coffee.

Nightshade 1:59 pm 06 Jul 16

KentFitch said :

I would rather Family and Community Day was renamed and/or moved than a holiday that is shared with other States. Lots of people move here from interstate and a common holiday is a good opportunity to travel to see family.

I like that Family and Community Day is a Canberra thing, like Canberra Day. There’s nothing to stop you travelling interstate on that day (especially given that it is usually in ACT school holidays), or if that is inconvenient, Labour Day comes a couple of weeks later.

My point is that it’s good to have the opportunity to visit interstate family/friends when they are having a holiday too. That gives a particular value to holidays that are common to multiple states (e.g. Queen’s Birthday, Labour Day), which would be lost by the ACT moving one to a different date. Feedback on the issue has been requested, and that will be my feed back.

gizmo1 1:40 pm 06 Jul 16

hahahahahahahaha

madelini 10:30 am 06 Jul 16

KentFitch said :

I would rather Family and Community Day was renamed and/or moved than a holiday that is shared with other States. Lots of people move here from interstate and a common holiday is a good opportunity to travel to see family.

I like that Family and Community Day is a Canberra thing, like Canberra Day. There’s nothing to stop you travelling interstate on that day (especially given that it is usually in ACT school holidays), or if that is inconvenient, Labour Day comes a couple of weeks later.

It’s about the Canberra community. At least, it is now that it’s no longer associated with Melbourne Cup.

Mysteryman 10:27 am 06 Jul 16

Masquara said :

What would “Reconciliation Day” be celebrating, precisely?

Surely, by its nature, if reconciliation has occurred, then reconciliation can be forgotten. It isn’t something that can be permanently put in the calendar.

I strongly suspect that many (if not most) who use this word, “reconciliation”, do not have any kind of reconciliation in mind but are instead playing a very different tune on a dog whistle.

Yeah, I have to agree with this. I would love to see true reconciliation. But it seems there are significant obstacles to overcome still with attitudes on both sides of the issue. I can’t see that having another public holiday and calling it “Reconciliation Day” is going to make much positive difference.

HenryBG 8:27 am 06 Jul 16

What would “Reconciliation Day” be celebrating, precisely?

Surely, by its nature, if reconciliation has occurred, then reconciliation can be forgotten. It isn’t something that can be permanently put in the calendar.

I strongly suspect that many (if not most) who use this word, “reconciliation”, do not have any kind of reconciliation in mind but are instead playing a very different tune on a dog whistle.

rosscoact 5:39 am 06 Jul 16

Another holiday and one that has significant meaning to a section of the population which has the least?

Hell yeah. Let’s include it as a referendum question. Let people show their true colours (no pun intended).

rommeldog56 11:10 pm 05 Jul 16

madelini said :

How about ACT Labor/Greens just run Canberra and make us some money instead of loosing and wasting it.

Do you have try everything failed Queensland Labor does ? Because changing public holidays worked
so well in Queensland.

Do ACT politicians have their own brain to think for themselves.

Why would it need a public holiday ?

What else are all these MLAs/Ministers going to do with their time anyway ? Apart from dreaming up new taxes, rates, charges, levies, etc to impose on ACT Ratepayers/voters, of course. This sort of bright idea/thought bubble is a taste of things to come after the ACT Legislative Assembly election in October, I suspect. I didnt even know that the territory was large enough to have its own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs minister.

I reckon we also should have a “fluffy puppy” day public holiday in support of mans best friend too ! And maybe one to commemorate the Sky Whale, another public holiday on the day that the tram makes its first journey, etc.

Nightshade 11:08 pm 05 Jul 16

I would rather Family and Community Day was renamed and/or moved than a holiday that is shared with other States. Lots of people move here from interstate and a common holiday is a good opportunity to travel to see family. Personally, I would be really annoyed if the Queen’s Birthday holiday were moved, which isn’t really getting off to a good start.

Chris Bourke’s Facebook page has details for providing feedback: To have your say, visit http://www.timetotalk.act.gov.au – submissions close Friday 8 July, so get in quick!

No_Nose 10:56 pm 05 Jul 16

Deref said :

Its a pitty they see the need to think at all, they should just do what’s best for the people and what the people want.

‘What’s best for the people’ and ‘What the people want’ are seldom the same thing!

gooterz 9:16 pm 05 Jul 16

madelini said :

How about ACT Labor/Greens just run Canberra and make us some money instead of loosing and wasting it.

Do you have try everything failed Queensland Labor does ? Because changing public holidays worked
so well in Queensland.

Do ACT politicians have their own brain to think for themselves.

Its a pitty they see the need to think at all, they should just do what’s best for the people and what the people want.

A government should champion the people’s ideas. Not try to come up with their own at the cost of the people.

gazket 8:48 pm 05 Jul 16

How about ACT Labor/Greens just run Canberra and make us some money instead of loosing and wasting it.

Do you have try everything failed Queensland Labor does ? Because changing public holidays worked
so well in Queensland.

Do ACT politicians have their own brain to think for themselves.

Rollersk8r 8:27 pm 05 Jul 16

No offence but nobody really cares what the majority (if not all) of public holidays are actually for. Call it whatever you like as long as we get the day off. Melbourne Cup day (as Family and Community Day) was a good one because it’s November and starting to warm up.

MERC600 5:38 pm 05 Jul 16

Have thought for a while now that there should be some recognition given to those first convicts transported to this country. Perhaps for them a rebadged holiday also.
It was from their hard toil that this country started to evolve.

gooterz 4:48 pm 05 Jul 16

Just like Australia Day is also invasion day. I’m sure a Reconciliation Day won’t turn out just as you want it too.

Even then are we to remember the Palawa or Australian pygmies, or just ignore them because there is none left to make a fuss?

A better Holiday would be a Cricket match such as the PM’s 11 or something people can enjoy.

The point of a holiday is something that people can enjoy. Christmas, Easter, Fireworks (Well previously).

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