As debate rages over Australia Day, a rising star in our Indigenous community defends our national holiday. According to Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, former director of Indigenous Affairs program at the Centre for Independent Studies, moves to change January 26 and call it “invasion day” are pointless and divisive.
Moreover, they won’t help Aboriginal Australians, especially in remote communities that suffer from profound disadvantage, such as domestic abuse, low levels of education and few employment opportunities, which have trapped many Indigenous Australians in a cycle of poverty. Nationwide, too many rely on government benefits, and the average life expectancy is considerably less than the national average.
Jacinta, a Walpiri-Celtic deputy mayor of Alice Springs, says that symbolic gestures, such as Voice to Parliament and campaigns to protest against “Invasion Day,” draw some attention to this tragedy. But they don’t right any of those wrongs. What instead should be done?
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and CIS executive director Tom Switzer discuss her publication, “Worlds Apart: Remote Indigenous disadvantage in the context of wider Australia.”