I'm A Celebrity 2020: Celebs Demand PM #ChangeTheDate
The celebrities may be feeling homesick but many felt any celebrations for Australia Day in the jungle would just be ‘awkward’.
Many of the celebs will be spending the Australia Day weekend in the camp, and those like Dale Thomas and Myf Warhurst hoped they could skip the festivities altogether.
When Miguel Maestre asked why, the camp came together to explain the friction between those that wanted to celebrate on January 26, and those that have been campaigning to change the date.
Many Australians have been campaigning to change the date for years, with Australia Day often referred to as Invasion Day or Survival Day, especially by many Indigenous Australians, as the date marks the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney.
Dating all the way back to 1838, January 26 has been protested, and remembered as a day of violence and mourning for many Aboriginal people. In recent years it has become an annual debate as to whether Australia Day should be moved to a different date, one that doesn’t represent colonisation.
“If everyone in Australia loves Australia day,” Miguel later said, “but a major part of Australians -- like our Indigenous people -- the real Australians that were here first. If they are so upset about this date, we should change it.
“I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal, it’s just a date.”
With some calling for Australia Day to fall on May 8 (because it sounds like ‘mate’ in an Aussie drawl), the celebs all seemed in agreement that the date should be changed.
“It could be a good thing for Scott Morrison to sort of turn around and say, ‘Alright, I’ve heard you all. Let’s have a referendum’,” Tom Williams suggested.
“Or even go one further. And just say… we’re doing it,” Dale Thomas added.
Sadly for the campmates, Prime Minister Morrison has not been too keen to make a strong stance on the debate, seeming to dodge the question altogether in a recent appearance on ‘Sunrise’.
When quizzed on if he thought the date should remain, Morrison said “Of course I do” adding that he didn’t want to be “distracted” by it.
Morrison’s sentiments echo his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, who in 2017 said the day was one that should “unite Australia and Australians”.
“We recognise that the history of European settlement in Australia has been complex and tragic for Indigenous Australians,” Turnbull said in a statement to the House of Representatives.
“To change the date of Australia Day would be to turn our back on Australian values, on the great achievement of 24 million Australians here in the greatest, most successful multicultural society in the world.”
Just months later in 2017, Turnbull rejected the proposals put forward in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice in the Constitution.
“It’ll end up like Uluru,” Tom Williams said referring to the recent swarm to climb the iconic sacred site before climbing the landmark was banned in October last year.
“A whole bunch of white people racing up there to go ‘It’s my right!’. It’s like, no it’s not mate,” Williams continued.
“For too long we haven't understood this day for what it was,” Dale Thomas said. “It was insensitive for us to put it here. We still want a day to celebrate our country and everything that’s great with it.
“So let’s move it.”