The new "Australia Day" lamb ad is a reminder that most of us are "boat people".

Meat. Barbecues. An ideal of “Australia”. January 26.

All culminate in an event we call Australia Day; a date that is laden with controversy because it’s the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales. The beginning of what was a very shameful period in Australian history.

Some suggest changing the name to “Invasion Day” – a more accurate depiction of what went down on January 26, 1788. Or change the date to something completely different.

Now, an advertisement from Meat & Livestock Australia has addressed all these issues in a two-and-a-half minute clip.

“First here,” it begins, with a beach-side barbecue attended by Indigenous Australians. “Beautiful spot like this? It’ll be packed before you know it.”

Then the settlers arrive... If only it really went down like this:

The French come bearing cheese and biscuits.

The crew from "Great Britannia" arrive offering not much except for very pompous accents. "We, sir, are from Great Britannia. We are the first fleet."


.... "Yeah, not quite, mate," is the response.

The Germans are next.

The Chinese arrive, bringing fireworks.

The Italians, Greeks and Serbians arrive. With lots of food.

Adam Gilchrist, former Australian cricketer, is all of a sudden there.

The New Zealanders arrive.

Then, in a nod to the date-change-proposal, Olympic legend Cathy Freeman asks, "What's the occasion?"

"Do we need one?" is the answer.

Malaysian-born Australian artist, author and chef Poh Ling Yeow is also on the beach. When someone points to yet another boat arriving, and says, "look, it's the boat people". She points out: "Aren't we all boat people."


And, for most of us, we are exactly that.

All boat people to a country that really might be the "best in the world". Thank you for having us.

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