Just for the record, my intention is not to condemn anyone else in celebrating Australia Day, I was only stating how I feel about it. To me, it is a bittersweet celebration, but if anyone (everyone?) else feels differently, then I totally respect that.
It's a great subject for debate though (thanks Riponian!)and just one that I happen to feel quite strongly about. I know that history has shown similar happenings as one country decides to take over another, but we are here and the thread is about Australia. What really amazes me is that the 'stolen generation' were still being taken from their parents in the 1970s!! So history had not taught us that much up until then - in my view. Of course in their arrogance, the English thought they were doing the right thing in trying to socialise and educate the children, but blimey, I wonder if any of the decision makers and children takers were parents themselves?
Rachiegarlo, I applaud your breadth of historical knowledge and respect your viewpoint too, but I just happen to feel differently. Of course, I have only been here five minutes (10 months now!) and possibly won't settle here for ever, so what do I know? As for 'allowing' the Aboriginals to enter tertiary education - who are we to 'allow' them to do anything when it is their land in the first place? I know that is has happened and that it cannot be undone (what a shame) and that some solution needs to be worked out. Throwing benefits and money at them clearly isn't working, so some other workable outcome needs to be looked at.
As for everyone who has moved to Australia and grafted hard, fair point, but I'm sure the Aboriginals would much rather they hadn't bothered and that they were still hunters and gatherers, left to their own devices. Additionally, the cultural issues such as child abuse and bashing the adult who last cared for the child who dies are absolutely vile, I guess more research is needed into why this happens and education to try and stop it from happening. But, shockingly, child abuse happens everywhere - every week there is a new and horrific case in the English newspapers; civilisation does not seem to wipe it out unfortunately.
Let's hope future generations of Australians (whatever their origins) and Aboriginals can get together and come up with a solution that works for them all.