Channel 10 bosses have taken a firm stand on the ongoing Australia Day debate, announcing that January 26 will no longer be referred to as “Australia Day” at the company.
Paramount Australia Vice President Beverly McGarvey clarified her position on the matter in an email to all employees last week. Australianrefusing to give a date and allowing staff to treat the day like any other, working rather than celebrating a public holiday.
This comes after years of massive protests calling for the date to be changed.
McGarvey’s email read: “At Paramount ANZ, we are committed to creating a safe place to work where cultural differences are valued, understood and respected.
“For our Indigenous peoples, we recognize as an organization that January 26th is not a day of celebration. We acknowledge that there has been a turbulent history, especially around this date and the recognition of this date as Australia Day.”
McGarvey went on to say that employees can work during a national holiday if it’s inconvenient for them to take the day off.
“We understand that January 26 brings different emotions to our employees across the business, and we are open to employees who do not feel comfortable considering this day as a public holiday.
“Whether you choose to work on January 26 or take a public holiday, we ask that you consider and respect the different views and perspectives of all Australians,” she concluded.
In recent years, controversy has flared up around the Australia Day celebration, with various councils around the country canceling the celebration.
In September, a City of Melbourne poll of more than 1,600 residents found that nearly 60 percent wanted Australia Day to be rescheduled.
Just 31% of respondents were satisfied with the celebration of Australia Day on January 26 – the same day that Sir Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Harbor in 1788.
This day marks the beginning of the British colony in Australia, but is considered a day of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who refer to January 26 as Invasion Day.
A survey of Melbourne residents showed that 59.9% of them want this day to be moved in the next 10 years.
A city spokesman said the council has held consultations with the five traditional owners organizations that make up East Kulin, and they all unanimously support changing the date from January 26.
“If approved, the Council will continue to issue permits for events hosted by the state government and others on Australia Day, while supporting events that recognize the perspective of Indigenous Peoples on January 26,” the city said in a statement.
“The City of Melbourne is working towards reconciliation and governance with Aboriginal people, however any decision to change the date must be made at the federal government level.”
In a proposal that was presented to the council in July, Lord Mayor Sally Capp described the events of 26 January as “divisive” and that there is a growing desire for change among Australians.
The City of Melbourne will join Yarra Council in east Melbourne and Darebin Council in north Melbourne in phasing out the January 26th celebration.
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