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Dr King & Australia's National Day 2020

Updated: Feb 15


Starting the week with Dr. King Day and ending on January 26 is a powerful reminder of the importance of having a dream beyond our current reality. Dr. King is often remembered for his speech at the Lincoln Memorial where he famously used the refrain, “I have a dream.” Whether your focus is on climate crisis, gender relations, economic trends or race relations, we have a present reality that could represent a nightmare future rather than a hopeful dream. Dr. King reminds us of the importance and power to dream of an imagined future beyond our current limitations. I wonder if we applied Dr. King’s ability to dream to our current reality on race relations and January 26th? What would be our future for First Nations and other Australians that is beyond our current limitations?


I have no delusion that January 26th stirs up strong polarised feelings and opinions. I am not blind to the loud and clear voices championing their sides of the story. I am also aware of the work being done to help navigate people through the many voices and bring people together to seek to understand. I reckon there are probably millions of Aussies who are either ‘over it’ or don’t really care about the issues and just want to enjoy the summertime public holiday. The real question we need to face is whether we have a sense of urgency for the dialogue and direct action that needs to take place? We need leadership that can move us to face our tough reality and dream of new possibilities.


Conclusion

The only way forward for Australia to celebrate our National Day is together. We can only do this if we are prepared to face our tough current reality, we must prepare ourselves to listen and learn from each other and take direct action on the work of coming together. Our current polarised situation will not shift quick enough without us having the audacity to dream together. We need to dream that one day we will have a National Day that we truly celebrate together.


Looking for what you can do?

Australia Day events near you The Australia Day Council.

First Nations events near you Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation.

Not sure why this is a big deal? Check out Australians Together.

Mark’s Recommendations:

1. The Sydney Festival are showing us the kind of leadership we need on this topic by holding their event called The Vigil at Barangaroo. Take a look at what Sydney Broadsheet writes about it.

2. Culture is Life is showing us the kind of leadership we need too with My Australian Dream.


To learn more about the civil rights and legacy of Dr. King visit The King Center or National Civil Rights Museum websites.

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