WEEKEND SUNRISE, SEVEN
SATURDAY, 20 JANUARY 2018
SUBJECTS: 26 January; Reconciliation
SIMON REEVE: Well as we mentioned we are joined now by Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Federal House of Representatives Alice Springs Councillor and Centre for Independent Studies researcher Jacinta Nampijinpa Price in Alice Springs. Good morning to both of you. Linda, first to you. This has always been a divisive topic, so much so that not even all First Australians can agree on this. Where do you stand on the issue?
LINDA BURNEY, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES AND MEMBER FOR BARTON:
Well the first thing I’d want to say is that it's a nonsense to think that all Indigenous people would think the same thing about all topics including, how or when Australia Day should be held. So I want to make that very clear. It just astounds me that everyone thinks that Aboriginal people should think the same way. And secondly, Australia Day and the history of Australia Day - it's only been since 1994 that 26th of January has been the official day. The really great thing about this debate – and you were so right, it comes up every year, and this is my 30th year of having this discussion – is that this will be the 30th anniversary for the March for Freedom, Justice and Hope that was held on the 26th of January in 1988. And everyone should be able to have a say and have an opinion. But what hasn't happened Simon is nobody has addressed the process for actually changing Australia Day: How do you go about it, and whether or not it is the role of government. It's not. It's the role of the Australia Day Council. And for me and for the party that I represent, we are not advocating a change of the date but we are saying, as everyone has agreed, that this is a day that is extremely difficult and represents something very different to Aboriginal people than some of the people in the community.