Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park has said a proposal by the Greens to change Australia Day to another day is one that he does not support and fails to recognise the fact that our national day has now become an opportunity to educate and inform Australians about the fact that Aboriginal people were the original inhabitants of the land we all call home.

Mr Park said the Greens should adopt a proposal put forward by Labor last year that the current public holiday allocated in June for the Queen’s birthday should be changed to one that recognises and commemorates Indigenous culture.

Whilst Mr Park was of the firm view that Australia Day is set in stone, he was very supportive of using the Queen’s birthday weekend (which isn’t her actual birthday anyway) to celebrate the history, challenges and achievements of the longest surviving Indigenous culture in the world.

Rather than trying to be divisive on a day that we should be celebrating how lucky we are to be living in the greatest country on earth, the Greens should back Labor’s plan for a dedicated day to recognise the importance of our Indigenous culture, its history and its contribution to our community.

Quotes from Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park

“I don’t want to see Australia Day moved and I don’t want it to be a day where politicians try to score political points by be being divisive. That’s not what our country needs.

“Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect on what we love about living in the greatest country on earth and at the same time reflecting on the challenges, contributions and history of our Indigenous people.

“What Labor has proposed is to make the public holiday in June, currently used to recognise the birthday of a Queen who resides 20,000km away and is actually born in April, the day we celebrate the enormous contribution our Indigenous people and their culture have made to the Australia we all love to call home.

“I hope this proposal is one that can be advanced and adopted in the future rather than every year have a debate that only causes us as a nation to be divided not united.