Today is 26 January, Australia Day. Australia Day is a national public holiday, commemorating the beginning of the nation of Australia when Captain Arthur Phillip began a British penal colony on the shores of Sydney Harbour on January 26, 1788. Australia Day has become for most Australians the end of a summer holiday season thatContinue reading “Weep with those who weep”
Last night we attended a service of lament and support for indigenous christians who cannot celebrate Australia Day with the rest of the country. The service highlighted issues that I think we all wish weren’t there, or would go away. But maybe we all have some helpful lessons to learn.
I went on a political demonstration today. Well, it was called a vigil, and it was quiet, peaceful and non-confrontational, but it was a protest. It was expressing concern about Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers, specifically several hundred man on an island in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s northern neighbour. Realistically, there is very little prospect, rightContinue reading “The slow easy slide into brutality”
Persecution and death threats in their home countries lead many Afghanis, Sri Lankans and others to seek to enter Australia as refugees. Many attempt the often perilous journey to Australia by crowded boat. Many die in the attempt, but most are found to be genuine refugees. We can assimilate these people without too much difficulty,Continue reading “Two films about Australia’s boat refugees”
This morning I attended the local Anzac Day dawn service, which commemorates the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who have died in battle. For many Aussies, this is the most sacred day of the year. I don’t feel that way, and I don’t usually attend, and it was a time of conflicting emotions and thoughts.