TODAY Show host Karl Stefanovic has put his weight behind calls to move Australia Day from January 26 to respect the wishes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In a monologue on Wednesday morning’s show, the Channel 9 morning host admitted he hadn’t always been a part of the camp that were passionately pushing for the day to celebrated on a different date, but argued he has now “changed his mind”.
“Having spoken to several people from those communities, I empathise as hard as some want to ignore it,” he said. “January 26 marks a day this land changed forever for one of the oldest and most beautiful cultures in the world. To this day, mortality rates for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders are alarming. It wasn’t until March 1962 that the Menzies government finally gave the right to vote for all Aboriginal people.”
Stefanovic's plea comes after a Melbourne council voted to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day. Yarra City councillors voted on Tuesday night to not hold any citizenship ceremonies on that date from next year and to "Refer to Australia Day as "January 26" until another "more appropriate" term is adopted nationally".
Stefanovic suggests moving Australia Day to the the first of January, to “combine New Year's with another party”.
"If we are to truly follow through with the apology and move forward together hand in hand, arm in arm, then I believe it must change.
"Let's do it together. Certainly, let's debate it together. On a lighter note, the 26th is a rubbish day for a party anyway. Whoever had a party on the 26th of anything?"
What do you think? Do you agree with Karl?