As Australia Day approaches, we all find ourselves questioning what meaning the celebration holds to us. Though, a path sparsely explored, is what it means to the future of our nation – the adolescents. Beyond the arrival of the first fleet, Australia Day has varying significance through the generations. Whether people witnessed Australia’s first fleet landing, lived through its announcement as a separate country, or built the cities up from the ground, Australia Day is a day for us all to celebrate the efforts of those before us in laying the foundation of the world we’re still building today.
Australia Day, as most know, is the day that we commemorate the arrival of the first fleet onto the soil of our nation. Despite the rising controversy regarding the validity of recognising this as the official founding of our country (as it denounces the extensive Aboriginal history that precedes it), it is still currently standing as the core focus of the citizens’ raging pride of our country. Whether the day is spent with family, feasting on lamb chops, watching cricket on the beach or galivanting from party to party in a celebration of Australia, the day is significant to all.
The teens of today grew up surrounded by the nationalism of other countries. All throughout television are celebrations from other nations, cherishing their achievements. When raised viewing such things, one cannot help but yearn for an equivalent. It’s Australia Day. On television, we see people running and screaming and celebrating for their nation and we can’t help but want the opportunity to do the same. For us, we have Australia Day to indulge in our shameless patriotism. The twenty-sixth of January is our Fourth of July, our Saint Patrick’s Day. It is our chance to celebrate everything that our nation has become.
While most view teenagers as ignorant to the past or anything even remotely academic, Australia Day is a day in which reflection of the past is notably multiplied. The arrival of the day constitutes as a reason to sit down and think about everything that has brought our nation to what it is today. Opportunities like this are few and far between. Australia Day is when the youth has reason to contemplate the strife and struggles that moulded the foundations of our ever-evolving society. During these reflections, conclusions can be made, resolutions formulated, and futures solidified. To the future of our nation, the past is the most opportunistic pathway to solidifying our future.
Finally, Australia Day is simply a chance to enjoy being an Australian. With all seriousness and reminiscing aside, it is the day of embracing all of the stereotypes that many strive to avoid. We crack open a beer, shove on some thongs and scream the anthem. It is simply a day to procrastinate the chores, say “she’ll be right” to any responsibilities and enjoy our lives. To teens, Australia Day is simply a reason to experience pure joy – uninhibited by the burdens of society.
Conclusively, the teen visualisation of the significance of Australia Day, while differing from that of others, is equally as relevant and necessary to embrace as that of even those who built it. Australia Day is the Aussie nationalist time of the year and one of the few opportunities we have to reflect and evolve from such ponderings. The youth’s view on Australia Day is what our nation shall grow into. It must be cherished and embraces. The future’s viewpoint is the one that shall prevail.