Australia Day. Striving for a culture of inclusiveness. #ChangeTheDate

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I love Australia… I want to be able to celebrate Australia, wave my flag on Australia Day & be proud of everything that we are… 

This is a phrase that I am sure is true to all of us… indigenous Australians, Asians, Indians, Greeks, Italians, black, white, green, gold… no matter what part of planet earth your ancestors might originate from… all of us in this wide brown land are boat people and of late I have been thinking a LOT about the cultural significance of Australia Day & its lack of inclusiveness for everyone.

If you are in need of further food for thought, keen to learn more or garner an inside perspective from the inside looking out, then I’d ask that you watch this video below by Carla McGrath of Get Up! or download these free podcasts that Australian comedian Wil Anderson has recorded with talented indigenous Australians, Adam Briggs (hip hop artist, writer and comedian) or Cleverman creator Ryan Griffen. These inspiring podcasts are not just focused on the Australia Day issue, but are also wonderful ranging chats with 2 of our brightest creative stars.

Yes, I am a privileged, middle-class, white Australian male who grew up not really knowing, understanding, appreciating or exploring the  dirty, little, not-so-secret of the history of our country… because it’s not ingrained in our schools and education enough and I didn’t try hard enough. We smash beers on Australia Day whilst listening triple j’s Hottest 100, without paying regard or a modicum of respect to the first settlers of this land, who have been here tens of thousands of years… And yet we’ve only been celebrating a 26th of January for 21 years! So why can’t we change the date?

I love this country with all my heart, warts and all. But I’m frustrated by so many elements that hold us back from being one of the most amazing and progressive nations on the planet (Australia Day, marriage equality, casual racism and deplorable internet speeds to name but a few). We only need to look at our cousins in New Zealand to feel ashamed and see how much further advanced we could be in a number of these issues.

I want to be able to celebrate Australia, how much it means to me, to wave my flag on Australia Day, drink some beers & be proud of everything that we are… But I can’t. Not until we change the date. So until that time, my Australia Days will be a little more low key than I’d like them to be and I will use this article that I’ve written today as a promise.

I will use the tools of influence that I have built for myself and my brand… my Bondi Beach Radio show, my Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast, blog and social media channels as a platform to learn more about my fellow Australians and champion their stories and perspectives, so that we can no only #ChangeTheDate, but evolve into a more open society and country where everyone feels welcome… in their own country and their own home.

I look forward to a day where all Aussies can celebrate #AustraliaDay as 1. Black, White, Green, Gold, Straight, Gay, LGBTQA.. Here’s hoping! 😃🌈❤

 
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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! is a weekly show on Bondi Beach Radio and iTunes podcast where we interview inspiring, influential individuals and entrepreneurs across a range of industries about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success. Our guests include Australian comedian & TV presenter, Wil Anderson, Jules Lund, Twitter Australia Managing Director, Karen Stocks, Gotye, Aussie actor Daniel McPherson, Nazeem Hussein & many more.

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Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cancer Council Australia, Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.
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