Articles on Australia Day

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The challenge on Indigenous rights is to achieve reform that goes beyond limited understandings of these issues as being symbolic or practical. AAP/Dan Peled

The Uluru statement showed how to give First Nations people a real voice – now it’s time for action

Instead of paying lip service to promoting Indigenous Australians' rights as First Nations, the next federal government should be guided by the Uluru Statement from the Heart to make real progress.
Two heroes of the Thai cave rescue, Craig Challen and Richard Harris, are joint Australian of the Year for 2019. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Cave rescue heroes share Australian of the Year

A retired vet and an anaesthetist from Western Australia share the honour for 2019 after they used their medical and cave-diving skills to rescue 12 boys and their coach from a Thai cave in 2018.
It may be that the fortnight or so surrounding Australia Day is evolving into an annual season in which some of the deepest paradoxes of Australian identity play out in public. AAP/Glenn Campbell

New research reveals our complex attitudes to Australia Day

As the debate around celebrating Australia Day on January 26 continues, new research shows Australians have mixed views of it as a national day.
Conversations about Australia Day feel so polarised. David Moir/AAP

How to have a better conversation about Australia Day

Debates around changing the date of Australia Day tend to run afoul of our sense of social identity, but there are ways to cut through and have a good conversation.
Dorothea MacKellar’s My Country, with its paen to a sunburnt landscape, excoriated Australians for their nostalgic love of English ‘grey-blue’ countryside and English weather. Mark Wassell/flickr

Anthems, ‘ranthems’, and otherwise loves: nationalism in Australian poetry

There's a fine tradition of Australian poetry harnessing the corrective power of insult. In doing so, it prompts us to face hard questions about our history and identity.
The painting Group of Natives of Tasmania, 1859, by Robert Dowling. Wikimedia

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

That colonial wars were fought in Tasmania is irrefutable. More controversially, surviving evidence suggests the British enacted genocidal policies against the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
“Remember, remember the fifth of November”… Andy Wilkes/Flickr

From fireworks to iodine and IQ: the perchlorate connection

A chemical found in products as diverse as fireworks and food packaging, perchlorate can interfere with thyroid function as well as foetal brain development.

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