By Nicholas Farrington
Aboriginal rights activists gathered in Forest Chase to push for Australia Day to be moved to another date.
Speakers at the event maintained that while many people used Australia Day as an excuse to celebrate, many Aboriginal Australians still mourn the damage done to their culture by the arrival of the first fleets.
Among the speakers was Greens Federal Senator Jordan Steel-John.
Mr Steel-John affirmed his belief in the cause, stating that Australia needs to acknowledge the mistreatment of Aboriginal people.
“These stories reveal to me and you the history of the land which I first come to know as Australia and helped me to understand that our collective future will never be, and can never be its brightest, until we come to terms with the realities of our present and the truths of our past,” Mr Steele-John said.
However, WA Premier Mark McGowan stated that he didn’t want the Federal Liberal Government to focus on the debate while there are more important issues facing Aboriginal Australians.
“I’m not supportive of changing the date for a few reasons. The Commonwealth Government is currently cutting one-hundred million dollars remote indigenous housing,” Mr McGowan said.
“I don’t want us to focus on the Australia Day date and not focus on those important issues confronting Aboriginal people.”
“I don’t want Malcom Turnbull and the Liberal Government nationally to get away with cutting out important funding for Aboriginal housing in remote communities, because we’re all focused on the date of Australia Day.”
“I think we need to really keep in mind there are important issues confronting Aboriginal West Australians and the state government, in which federal Government is cutting support for our state and keep our focus on those issues.”
Despite the hot weather the demonstration ended with a march around Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall.
Picture: Demonstration At Forrest Chase