The country is currently having its annual lurch from side to side as the casual racists join forces with the actual racists in defending the date of Australia Day of January 26, despite it not being the day on which the country was founded - that date was 1st January 1901, following the passage of the Constitution Of Australia Act which gained royal assent on 30th July 1900.
The usual argument is that they weren't responsible for the goings on of 230 years ago and therefore, they have the right to wave the flag all they like, in spite of the injustices that remain.
The 26th of January 1788 was the day on which Governor Arthur Phillip, officially read the proclamation to declare the east coast of the continent of Australia officially British and the inception of the penal colony of New South Wales thereof. I would argue that an act like this by an officer of the Royal Navy after taking a fleet of eleven Royal Navy ships is an act of the Royal Navy and therefore a military annexation. Since the raising of the flag in possession of land is also quite obviously a naval action, I think that the assessment that this was an Invasion, albeit a very slow invasion, is completely accurate.
As Australia has never had any formal treaty process and as a result, unlike our friends across the ditch in New Zealand or our cousins across the Pacific in Canada, we've also never moved on to any kind of formal framework for addressing the issues that our first peoples face.
Let's just be honest about the problem up front. The only reason that we refuse to accept and address the problem of Australia Day and the 230 years of consequences which have followed is because of a highly vocal section of the white community who are deeply racist and an apathetic part of the community who are complicit in that racism.
One of the very first acts of the brand new parliament in 1901 was the passage of the White Australia Policy and with it enshrinememt at
law of the country's wish to keep out all of the brown people. Naturally, because Aboriginal people groups were already here, we couldn't very well deport them anywhere, so we just chose not to recognise them as citizens until the 1960s. Of course they were free to join the military and have themselves blown up in service of the King but that was the patriotic thing to do, wasn't it? Even now you still have some apologists who say that the arrival of white people was obviously a very good thing because it was white people who brought civilisation. I suppose you have to take the good with the total destruction of your homes, livelihood, way of life, existing sense of law and tradition, along with active and passive genocide, don't you?
Fast forward through dreams of symbolic referendums that achieve nothing, High Court cases to claim back what was once your family's anyway, broken promises of treaties and covenants, statements from united groups of people, until 26th January 2018, and you're still faced with that central problem of white people trying to pretend that they're not really racist when it's perfectly clear for all the world to see that they are, and even something as simple as changing the date which actively commemorates the day that the land was officially stolen, is impossible.
The bottom line is that you have a bunch of mostly white racists (some of who are pretending to everyone including themselves that they are not) actively defending their racism under the banner of patriotism. These people are entirely unencumbered by the thought process and trying to explain empathy, sympathy and basic humanity to them is useless. Try talking to a housebrick; you'll get better and more logical conversation.
I've a good mind to walk around today in an England kit and draped in the Union Jack so I can say "sorry" to everyone. I know that the phrase "white guilt" is a thing but it seems perfectly sensible to me because as a white male aged 18-65, I feel that I need to apologise on behalf of everyone like me because the injury of stupid white people ruining things for everyone isn't a problem from 1788 or 1901, but ongoing.
I'm sorry white people but although you don't want to be responsible for the goings on of 230 years ago and therefore claim that you have the right to wave the flag all you like, you are responsible for the goings on now and of the injustices that remain and still haven't been cleared up because the casual racists have joined forces with the actual racists, whether they wanted to or not.
Happy Invasion Day!