Karl Stefanovic has defended a photo of himself enjoying a day out with his family on the Australia Day public holiday, telling his Today show co-host Allison Langdon he had a "terrific" time.
The presenter, who has previously called for an end to celebrations on January 26, posted a photo to his Instagram account on Wednesday featuring his wife Jasmine Yarbrough and their one-year-old daughter Harper as they enjoyed a day out on a boat in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
"You looked like you had a pretty good time yesterday," Allison said during the breakfast program on Thursday.
"I had a pretty good time actually. It was terrific," Karl responded.
"Had a bit of time on the little pontoon boat, dingy all tied up down at the Shire near Sydney, and we had a great afternoon. Mum drove home which was fantastic. Took eight hours. Normally a half an hour drive."
There were several followers who left comments saying that Karl’s Australia Day post was insensitive.
“It’s Invasion Day,” one person wrote, with someone else calling him “oblivious”.
“I love this country too but we have to CHANGE THE DATE,” another replied
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Karl defended his post saying he still supports changing the date.
"At the end of the day I also live in this wonderful country and I’m going to celebrate what Australia is to me," he told the publication.
"I think that hopefully down the track we can come to a place where everyone is able to commemorate and celebrate together. At the moment we don’t have that and I think that’s the ideal, that doesn’t mean that people can’t celebrate Australia Day."
He went on to say he hopes one day everyone can come together, but "in the meantime, I’m still going to celebrate Australia Day because it is a great country."
Karl's 'Change the Date' plea on Today show
Back in 2017 Karl made a passionate plea on the Today show to move Australia Day to a different date, out of respect for Indigenous people.
“I empathise as hard as some want to ignore it. January 26 marks a day this land changed forever for one of the oldest and most beautiful cultures in the world. To this day, mortality rates for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders are alarming,” he said at the time.
“It wasn’t until March 1962 that the Menzies government finally gave the right to vote for all Aboriginal people.”
He suggested January 1 as an alternative for the public holiday, which is when the Commonwealth of Australia came into being in 1901.
"If we are to truly follow through with the apology and move forward together hand-in-hand, arm in arm, then I believe it must change," he said.
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