As Australians around the country bathe in the sunshine and celebrate the public holiday, the very traumatic undertones of this day and the overriding sense that it’s time to change the date have not escaped social media.
Actresses, actors, musicians and others who hold just a little bit of clout in the Australian media landscape have used their respective social media profiles to share their honest thoughts on Australia Day, with many advocating to change the date.
Everyone from Miranda Tapsell, Osher Gunsberg, Caitlin Stasey and Monty Dimond posted their thoughts.
"I'm gonna keep that fire burning," wrote Australian actress Miranda Tapsell on Instagram.
Former Home and Away actress Bonnie Sveen also made sure her stance was understood.
"Today belongs to the Original Owners. May you, Australia's Indigenous mobs, celebrate your resilience in a fight that sadly is far from over," she wrote.
Today belongs to the Original Owners. May you, Australia's Indigenous mobs, celebrate your resilience in a fight that sadly is far from over. May you be respected and honoured by all today, especially non Indigenous Australians. I recognise that the European settlement (my ancestors) tore apart your families, treated you brutally and stole your sacred land. I acknowledge that those actions, from 229 years ago, affect the lives of Aboriginal people today and therefore ought not to be denied or forgotten. For you, Survivers, the history of our Invasion is not something to "get over" and "move on from" but a part of the fabric of your realities; your culture, here in 2017. I want you to know that I am sorry for the blood spilled, the unimaginable trauma caused and boundaries crossed. I am Australian; I call this country my home, I adore it and do my best to care for it, but I would never claim to know what you know about this land and it's Spirit. For what it's worth, I hope that this is the last Australia Day held on the day we invaded your country. May the new National Day be inclusive of you, acknowledge our unjust history and work to reconcile the injustices of your present. May your voice be heard, your leaders and Elders listened to and the power they took way, returned. ???? @brightyouth
Host of the Bachelor, Osher Gunsberg, spent his day protesting in Brisbane at his very first sit-in outside Government house.
See you at Government House #Repost @elusive_sausage ・・・ I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we gather on today, and pay my respects to elders past & present. Let's celebrate that Australia has the longest known living culture in the world, we are Australia's first nationals people. It's not just our history, it is also yours. We have survived #survivalday #alwayswillbe #changethedate
With the ultimate throwback photo, Dannii Minogue paid her own respects to the original custodians of our land.
"Paying respects to the traditional custodians of our land and celebrating what a great country we have this #AustraliaDay holiday. Great moment to stop and think what I love about Australia and how we can look after it together."
Happy Australia Day. I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land. And acknowledge all our brothers and sisters who call this big beautiful brown (rivers/creeks), red (earth), yellow (sand/wattle), blue (ocean), green (trees/forests) place, HOME. Thanks for having me. I love it here. #CHANGETHEDATE Thanks @lachsparkland for posting this one.
However, it was former Packed to the Rafter's actor Hugh Sheridan whose thoughts were perhaps the most striking of all.
"Let Australia lead by example," he wrote on Instagram, "learn from the past & tell the government that we know the difference between right & wrong because we have a compass in our conscience that was a gift from the men & women before us, they promised us free speech & told us that education was a right not a privilege."
Australia Day. According to a new study published last September in the journal Nature, researchers conducting the first-ever genomic study of indigenous Australians have found evidence of a single “out of Africa” migration for modern humans & confirmed a long-standing claim that Australia’s Aboriginal civilization is the oldest on the planet, dating back some 50,000 years. A civilization so in tune with nature & the land, a people who could talk to the earth & stars & hear it when it talked back; through that smell before it rains or the sound of desert flowers soft in the breeze. When I'm away from home, what I miss most, what calls to me is my connection to the land. I do love our "sunburnt country" our great southern "land of sweeping plains". I miss the deafening silence in the harsh heat, the stillness in the outback, the flies & low buzz of bugs in nature. There are many things about Australia we're still working to change but I wouldn't change being born Australian for anything. My identity lives in the red dirt & the white sand, it's with the animals & gum leaves. It's our families, homes, back yards & daggy things we say. Our sense of humor & bastardizing of obscenities so their power is useless. We love our neighbors, even if we can't stand them we still secretly love them. I believe our hearts want equality for Australia, we want to share our land, not only with those who were there first but those who are running from a hell like most of us have never known... at least I want it for Oz, the Aussies I know want it too. I truly believe my ideals are inherently Australian, my compass knows true North because I was born deep South haha. But seriously, I believe in advancing Australia "Fair" & I stand strong with the indigenous people & the convicts that built the roads, let's stand for what we believe in & let Australia lead by example, learn from the past & tell the government that we know the difference between right & wrong because we have a compass in our conscience that was a gift from the men & women before us, they promised us free speech & told us that education was a right not a privilege. #speaklove #iloveaustralia #notjusttodaybuteveryday ????
Naturally, a photo and a few words on social media doesn't ignite immediate change. But it can, and perhaps will, be the one of the many steps we need.