Posted by: Bruce | April 17, 2012

Australia Day 2012. A Tent embassy, fear, burning and spitting. Where’s the duster?

Last year I posted my impressions of Australia Day 2011. This year, Australia Day 2012 presented a different picture.

A late posting but it took some time to get my thoughts together; they expanded a little from my first reactions.

In summary, Australia Day 2012 was dominated by the happenings in Canberra, Australia. Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were both present at the Lobby restaurant, near Old Parliament House. Ceremonies were under way for Award and Citizenship presentations.

Protesters at the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy ( been there 40yrs now) moved to the Lobby Restaurant and the days events veered from the plan. Whether there was real or imagined danger for our Prime Minister or Opposition Leader is up for clarification still. What seems clear is that the perception of danger at the time, caused the PM’s bodyguard and other personnel to strutt their stuff.

Images flew into our lounge rooms and around the world (for those that have heard of Australia) of the PM losing her shoe as she was dragged into a waiting car. Tony Abbott didn’t get the same hug but he went in the car as well. I believe he used to be pretty handy in the boxing ring, so perhaps not easily intimidated.

I’m glad no serious injury occurred and there have been claims and counterclaims of responsibility and liability for the tensions of the day. Time will tell but the incidents in Canberra were memorable and a little disturbing.

Below are a few links I bookmarked which give more details and images. It is the last link that caused me to procrastinate with this post.

An angry teenage girl (a Miss Wharton) burns and spits on the Australian flag; activist Paul Coe  calls for ‘us’ to be respected as the sovereign people or ‘piss off ‘ out of our land.

If the flag burning and spitting was meant to say something to me, it succeeded. It told me that there are some Aboriginals out there that think that of me or would do the same to me. This 15 yr old and I; we have never met. Her father, Warren Wharton, I haven’t met.

The call to ‘piss off ‘ if sovereignty is not respected also has a certain ring to it. You see; I don’t blame them for feeling this way.

The sovereignty issue reminded me of how I feel (as an Australian) when immigrants to this country (from anywhere) make demands, whinge, criticise and try to change Australia into the country they left behind. I just want to tell them to “piss off ” too. I’m not sure of any implications; after all, I’ve been here longer than 15yrs but not thousands of years.

Sometimes I get pretty miffed by these sorts of incidents however. I don’t want to be empathetic. I get a little cynical and childish too. I wonder if we could just wipe the slate clean and everyone leave except the Aboriginals. And I mean really clean, take the bat and ball, take back everything that non-indigenous people brought to this country. Everything back to its natural state. No roads, buildings, cars, medicine; the lot. Take it all and go.

Would that make the protesters in Canberra happy? I doubt it.

Realistically, invasion of sorts was going to happen at some time by someone. If it wasn’t the Anglo-Saxons then it was going to be someone else. The mind boggles at the possibilities and other nationalities.

I started to think that the colonisation of space was the only possible way to keep everyone happy. As long as there was a planet for each lot of like minded people, they could go there and do their thing.

Sounds good, but back to reality for now, back to problems.

I wonder if it’s occurred to the 15 yr old girl and Paul Coe that “their people” already possess sovereignty?

After all, if I burned and spat on the Australian flag I would be fined and possibly tossed in jail for a short time for that offense. Will the 15yr old girl be subject to the same treatment?

I also wonder what would happen to me if I went to the Tent Embassy in Canberra and burned and spat on the Aboriginal flag? Designed by Harold Thomas in 1971, it is has been flown at the Tent Embassy since 1972.

Such are my thoughts for Australia Day 2012. Images impressed on the memory and questions raised with few answers.

Anyone ponder along these lines or am I off on my own tangent?

Word for today;      HOME …….. Australia

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel.


  1. Hi,
    It certainly turned out to be a terrible day, and it seems by all accounts brought on by the PM office, the offender who resigned is now in London would you believe, just makes you wonder.

    I also thought it was very bad taste to burn the flag, and I totally agree, if you or I were to burn the other flag we would be in jail.


    • Hi Magsx2. A strange day for sure. The flag burning by the next generation, I think, just keeps the hate going. Also, funny how we haven’t heard much about the cause of the demo’s.The offender in London? Out of sight, out of mind I guess.


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