KIIS FM radio host Jackie 'O' Henderson has called for Australia Day to be changed to another date that doesn't hurt First Nations Australians. Jackie shared with co-host Kyle Sandilands on the Kyle and Jackie O Show that she wanted to be able to celebrate Australia but wouldn't do so on January 26.
"I want to be able to celebrate Australia because I love this country and I am really patriotic," she said. "I want to be able to do it in a way I don't feel shamed about doing it so I'm more than happy to change the date."
"If you change the date, it is not hurting you personally but by not changing the date, it is hurting a lot of people."
Many Australians don't celebrate Australia Day as it marks a devastating and painful day for First Nations peoples, many of whom lost their lands, culture and loved ones on January 26 1788, when Britain's First Fleet arrived in Australia and began colonising the country.
A number of Aussie companies including Woolworths, Telstra and Channel Ten have given their employees the option to work January 26, with Ten telling staff they will not be celebrating the day. Parent company Paramount ANZ's chief content officer Beverley McGarvey and co-lead Jarrod Villani simply referred to the day as 'January 26' in their email, saying it was "not a day of celebration" and employees could work if they wanted to do so.
Australia Day was only declared a national public holiday in 1994. The first Australia Day was held on July 30, 1915, and it was actually an effort to raise money for World War I and as a way to celebrate Australian soldiers in Gallipoli.
Before 1888, New South Wales was the only state to celebrate Australia Day, previously known as Anniversary Day, on January 26. The celebrations were centred around Sydney, while other states and territories celebrated the day they were founded on different dates.
In 1935, all states and territories celebrated the day on January 26, but it was still known as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day. First Nations peoples have been protesting the day ever since, with the first official Day of Mourning being held by the Australian Natives Association in 1938.
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