Happy Babakiueria Day


Remember this?

For the record… Although I am proud of this country, and 26 Jan has meant a lot to me, I’d be more than happy with a change to May 8… (and I’m not proud of whoever cut off Capt Cook… That’s not how you win an argument, tho I can appreciate the frustration.)




Good satire.

There have been a few attempts to do this in the US context, but this is much better done because of how deadpan it is delivered. The attempts I’ve seen at this to flip the colonised/settler or black/white dynamic have been high production “cinema” and have failed for that reason.

A similar delivery to this but somewhat juxtaposed scenario is a similar attempt to show how even if the Confederacy had won the US Civil War, by the 1980s it would be a failed state, as overshadowed by a recovered industrial Union and Canada to its north.

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I think January 26 is divisive and the date should be changed but January 1st is a more logical alternative IMHO (date of the creation of Australia as a country).

Or if it has to be May then May 9 (the first Australian Parliment)

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I agree. Change the date.

Some prattle on about traditions, but we have only celebrated it on the actual day since 1992 or thereabouts. Before then, we celebrated on the nearest Monday, so we had a long weekend. No, even that is an exaggeration. We had a holiday then, but many were not sure what the date was even about. Many incorrectly thought it was the date that Captain Cook arrived.

Much has changed since federation, including:

  • Our anthem. Advance Australia Fair was adopted in 1974, dropped in 1976 and then re-adopted in 1984.
  • Our flag. The current flag was only fully adopted as our flag in 1954. Before then, the Union Jack was used in many instances.
  • Our legal system. Until 1975, decisions of the High Court could be appealed and overridden by the Privy Council in the UK.
  • Our head of government. The british monarch is still the nominal head of government in Australia. The role of the monarch appointed governor general who represents the monarch has evolved since federation. The first governor’s general were british peers. The last British born governor general was appointed in 1965.
  • Our currency. It was changed to dollars and cents in 1966

So we should not be hung up about changing the date of Australia Day. But why should it change?

Say Australia was taken over today by a foreign power today.
Wouldn’t we call it an invasion? Yes
If they ruled over us in perpetuity, would we be willing to celebrate the date? No

So if we want all Australians to honour and celebrate Australia Day, it has to be a different date.


@kionon It came out in 1986, just before Australia celebrated 200 years of colonisation (1988). '88 was a BIG affair here, and as an 11yo at the time, certainly was something that made me feel proud - oh look, we’ve existed for 200 years. The Aboriginal side of things was very much NOT even mentioned, much as was mocked in Babakiueria.

The movie won some kind of peace award with the UN. I remember being shown it in high school, a few years after the bicentennial, by which point I was learning about some of the atrocities that ‘white folk’ committed, such as literally rounding up Aboriginals and shooting them all… Not a great history - can see why that wasn’t mentioned back in 88.

@Geoff3DMN Yep, I wasn’t real keen on changing it when the movement against it started (well - I think I first became aware of the “Invasion Day” viewpoint around 20 odd years ago), but I’m well and truly there now.

I don’t like 1st Jan as the date simply because - we’ve already got that pegged for New Year’s Day (and I’m not losing a public holiday! :slight_smile: And If we made it May 9, I think people would celebrate it a day early anyway cos, I mean - Maaaaate! (My oldest, 16yo, just saw what I was writing and say “May 8th - you can’t convince me otherwise!” :slight_smile: )

@snarl Exactly! There’s plenty of dates to choose from, and there’s no real strong case toward Jan 26. I believe it was 1994 when it was ratified as a national pubhol, so it’s not even been my whole lifetime we’ve celebrated it at a national level. Times change, and I think it’s time we move on from this date, and pick one we can all enjoy.

I am part Aboriginal, coming from the Wemba Wemba tribe near Mildura. I have no ties to land, and only know a little of that side from some notes my aunty wrote up years ago. My great great grandmother was part of the Stolen Generation, offspring to a drover who had his white family back in a city somewhere, but then had an Aboriginal family where he was working. When he died, the two families found out about each other. But I didn’t even know I had Aboriginal ancestry til I was 15, because it was considered a big family scandal.

I was very disappointed that The Voice didn’t succeed, although Labour did a piss poor job promoting it - I didn’t understand how it was meant to work, so I doubt many other people did either…


Sadly, everything has become Americanised here and that is obviously not a good thing, and not the Australian way.

To me, celebrating the arrival of the British first fleet does not make sense nationally. January 26 was not the birth of the nation. The two logical dates are January 1 for federation or the date when we finally become a republic.

I have no problem with May 8 either, but I think that many that would like a change would still like the date to be in Summer.

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FWIW, what you correctly and derisively label as “Americanised,” plenty of Americans don’t like either. I certainly don’t. It’s become a cartoonish caricature of a complex, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.

The Cartoonification of American public life (and the fact it has spilled over onto our Anglosphere siblings like Australia) is certainly nothing worth preserving, and very much worth combatting.


Correct me if I am wrong, but is not your head of government Albo, and Chucky-Three is your head of state?

I only ask because the reason I lived in Australia was specifically to study politics (and watch a shitton of Chaser… I mean… “do political research”), so I’m wondering if I got something fundamentally incorrect.

I don’t like May 8 because IMO it trivialises what should be a serious celebration of country.

Other dates that’ve been suggested are May 27 when the referendum voted yes to include Indigenous Australians in law making and census data and July 30th which is the date that Australia Day was first (originally) celebrated on.

Personally I’m not a fan of suggestions that just pick a random day (like the suggested ‘just move it a week’ idea) either.

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Ultimately the main thing will be - it has to be a date that’s accepted by Aboriginal people, because otherwise it’s pointless to move it from where it is. Yes, making it not specifically about the arrival of the first fleet / colonisation is good, but I suspect it will need to be almost a neutral kind of date…

@kionon We don’t talk about our head of state’s potential influence around here…

@kionon You are correct. Albo is our head of government and Charles is our head of state. It is bizarre that our head of state does not even live in the country. We so need to become a republic.

@cosmichobo I am so disappointed about The Voice referendum. We need to acknowledge our history. In retrospect, perhaps truth should have been first, however the Statement nominated the order, Voice, Treaty, Truth.

I believe that Albo made an error in agreeing to fully implement the Statement from the Heart unaltered. His own heart was in the right place, but he needed to apply his head. He should have tweaked it, based on cold, hard political common sense. Many Australian’s did not engage in the debate until they had to vote. Then that unfortunately brilliant slogan (If you don’t know, vote no) gave them a licence to avoid thinking and any investigation and just vote no. Lumping recognition and the Voice into the one question made it seem more complicated than it was.

Many were hung up on the lack of detail about The Voice, and suggested that it should have just been legislated in parliament. Yet that was what was going to happen. All the detail had to be decided by parliament. The constitutional amendment was only the simple task assignment for parliament.

There’s a big part of Australia that either simply don’t care, or have a fairly negative view of First Nation people.

My boss just this morning ‘joked’ about how Aboriginals have Reconciliation Week and Naidoc Week and Mabo Day and “the rest of us” only get Australia Day. Needless to say, she voted No, and she doesn’t see an issue with 26 Jan.

Whilst it was not a great result, “at least” almost 40% of the nation DID vote Yes.