Australia Day 2017: change the date mate?

Public opinion History Colonisation Australian history National days Australia

The majority of Australians don’t want to change the date of Australia Day, see us become a republic or change the national flag, according to a survey conducted following the recent controversies of Australia Day 2017.

The national poll was conducted in the wake of intense publicity surrounding the #changethedate campaign which led to protests on Australia Day demanding that it be held on a different date because of the atrocities suffered by Indige nous people after the landing of the First Fleet on January 26th.

Conducted among 1043 Australians by research firm Review Partners , in association with Survey Sampling International , the study looked in detail at Australians’ attitudes towards Australia Day and its link to our British origins.

'Images of protests and burning flags dominated the reporting on Australia Day, so we wanted to understand the truth of Australians attitudes towards the national day,’ said report author Paul Costantoura, of Review Partners.

Most people (85%) told us they had heard something in the news or social media about the campaign to change the date, but only 16% said we should change it to another date,’

‘However, t he majority (59%) said it shouldn’t be changed and about a quarter of the population (24%) didn’t really care what date Australia Day is held.’

‘To make sure people knew the arguments, we told them some people said it represents the day when Australia’s original Indigenous peoples were invaded by the British, had their land stolen from them and were slaughtered in their thousands by the early British settlers.’

‘After reading this, the number wanting a new date inc reased to 28%, but 53% still said the date should stay the same and 20% still didn’t really care about the date.’

‘Asked to rate the importance of changing the date, becoming a republic, or changing the flag, 53% of people didn’t want to make any changes , 30% said a republic was most important, 11% gave top priority to changing the date , while only 6% nominated changing the flag .’

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