With all the debate swirling around about changing the date of Australia Day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when chatting to your teenager about it. But, if possible, try not to shy away from having political discussions with your teen. It’s a great opportunity to show your teen that you respect them and that you’re there for more than lifts and laundry! It’s also a chance to share your history and experience with them.
January 26 is the day the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson. It’s a distressing day for some people as it marks the loss of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and culture. While the debate around changing the date isn’t new, community advocacy means this year the conversation is growing even louder.
One example of this is when Triple J announced its iconic Hottest 100 celebration has been moved from Australia Day to January 27 after an online survey showed the majority of its listeners supported the date change.
Whether you celebrate, mourn, march or ignore Australia Day, it’s a great opportunity to have a chat with your teenager. Here are some links we found to kickstart the discussion.
- From attending a cultural event to committing to a conversation, here are some ways to get your teenager thinking about the meaning of Australia Day.
- There are two sides to the story of what January 26 marks for Australians. Here’s a timeline of the day from 16,000BCE to 2017.
- Did you know that the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag were only raised together on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Australia Day from 2013? 10 other things you should know about January 26 here.
- You might have heard different names for the day, like Australia Day, Survival Day or Invasion Day. Find out what’s behind the names.
- A neat outline of January 26’s history, and some interesting personal reflections about the day
What can I do now?
- Ask your teenager what they think of January 26. The Hottest 100 might be a good jumping off point.
- If you're feeling affected by January 26 or the debate surrounding it, talk to a trusted friend or family member, or a helpline.
- Build on your communication skills with your teenager.
- Visit Yarn Safe for culturally specific information for your teenager.