Australia Day in Thailand would normally see Aussie expats gathering at one of the Australian themed bars, but this year they will be remaining ‘pubs with no beer’, so maybe a back yard barbie and a tinny or two at a mate’s place may be a better option.
Australia’s national day is not without controversy as it celebrates the arrival on January 26th 1788 of Captain Arthur Phillip who landed on Australian soil with the First Fleet of eleven British ships and raised the British flag at Sydney Cove to claim New South Wales as a British Colony.
This day marks the beginning of a long and brutal colonisation of the land and indigenous people who may regard this as ‘invasion day’ with growing calls for the date to be changed.
Earlier this month the Australian government tweaked the nation’s national anthem, Advance Australia Fair. The change was said to be made to recognise the country’s Indigenous history and communities. However its unlikely that this one word change will satisfy calls for constitutional recognition and a treaty to advance the recognition of first nation people.
Below is the first verse of the national anthem showing the one word change; but many people still chuckle when they ponder the line “girt by sea”!
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are
young one and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty, rich and rare
In history’s page let every stage
Advance Australia fair