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This Australia Day, I'll be looking forward, not backwards

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Next week most of us will celebrate Australia Day. In the lead up to and on that day we have come to expect that some Indigenous activists will be arguing that we should look upon that day as invasion day. That's a shame. It's a shame because the day is one where all of us, no matter when our forbears or we arrived, no matter our ethnicity we can all celebrate who we are.

We are one of if not the most successful immigration nation in the world. Unless your a full blood indigenous Australian you've got migrant blood in your veins. The only difference between us is one of timing - when did you, your granny or great granny arrive. Together, we've done very well.

Why people picked the date of the arrival of the First Fleet as the day to celebrate us as a nation I'm not sure. One might think January 1 would be more appropriate, commemorating that day in 1901 when we effectively became a nation. It's a fair bet that was avoided because we already had a public holiday on that date. We do love our public holidays.

I raise that because I'm not sure January 26th was the best choice but it's what we've got until something better emerges. It isn't for me, nor anyone I know, a celebration of the arrival of the First Fleet. It's a celebration of........

© The Age