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Pre 1994 Australia Day was always shifted to the nearest Monday to create a long weekend. A ‘last hurrah’ for the Summer holidays before the new school year. ANZAC Day was the far more important fixed day of commemoration. Australia Day should be a day we can all celebrate, and clearly the 26th of January ‘has too much baggage’.
So I’d like to propose it be moved to the last Monday or the last Friday of January, whichever is closer to the end of the month. That way it will always fall on the 28th, 29th, 30th or 31st. It will always be a long weekend.
It will allow the 26th Jan to become a day of reflection. A day to consider how we or our forebears arrived here, and the impact that has had on others. A time to pay our respects.
Then, two or three days after that acknowledgement, it will be time to celebrate, together. And the breakfasts, the bbq’s, the citizenship ceremonies, and the fireworks can be spread over Fri-Sat-Sun or Sat-Sun-Mon, depending on whatever suits different Cities or Shires. Then it will be time to pack up the camping gear, wash off the sand, head for home and maybe even have a squiz at the school booklist…