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Australia Day from another perspective

FOR many in the community, today will be a day of mourning and remembrance.

While most people celebrate what they feel it means to be Australian on Australia Day, January 26 marks the day in 1788 that the British claimed sovereignty over the country.

For Gunditjmara woman, Jacinta Harman, January 26 is not a day to celebrate, but one to remember her ancestors and how they were treated.

“It has been forgotten what the day was about in the first place,” she said.

“When I’ve asked others what Australia Day means to them, all I get is that it’s about celebrating being Australian (and) it’s just another excuse to drink alcohol with their friends.

“For me, it is a mourning period; how I look at it is that we remember the ANZACs and how they fought for the country, but our ancestors fought for this country too and no one is remembering them.

“We wouldn’t be here without their trials and it’s still ongoing, so for people to tell us to forget about it, it’s hurtful.”

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