Arrival of imperialism no cause for celebration
As Australian Ambassador, as usual, I gave a reception every Australia Day (Letters, 26 January). Other members of the diplomatic corps did the same on their national day, which usually marked independence or a historical event. Reasonably, many guests asked what we were celebrating. So apt to answer somehow that we were celebrating the arrival of British imperialism on our continent didn’t seem like a good idea. Now, long retired, I’m still searching for an answer. Cavan Hogue, Haymarket
How long will it be before we non-natives come to the conclusion that January 26th is not the day we celebrate our nationality? We all know in our hearts that this is not accepted by the majority of those whose lineage is traced back 60,000 years in the longest uninterrupted culture on this planet. It just smacks of arrogance to turn a blind eye to the obvious. Brian Roach, Westleigh
i love australia We should celebrate our country somehow. However, January 26 is incredibly troubling for a group of Australians. Reason enough to change the date to a more appropriate date. We listen to other groups and try to help. The day can easily be changed for all of us to love. Susan Haylock, Mosman
Another Australia Day is just around the corner. Do other countries indulge in such uncompromising navel-gazing? It’s embarrassing to listen to decades of endless questions about what it means to be Australian. When can we hope to mature enough ourselves to overcome the colonial horrors? There has to come a point when we stop endlessly begging vociferous seers to tell us who we are. It’s so youthful. Lyn Maciver, Epping
It is worth noting that the UK is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a national day to celebrate the country. Ironic? Ross Corrigan, red fern
I live in hope that most, if not all, of the people of this country, whether First Nations or immigrants, will recognize a national holiday. We can celebrate this day when we become a republic or find another common day of unity. But until we finally sever our connection with the ex-British Empire, we will not be able to see ourselves as an independent nation (“Support for the Republic Has Grown: Survey,” January 26). Peter Rayner, newcastle
When the Republic comes, our flag must change. The Aboriginal flag is one of the best flag designs in the world: educational and distinctive. I dream of the day it’s all ours. David Luckie, Moss Vale
Honor Roll biased
Reading the long list of people on the honor rolls makes me angry; so many “services to” are for their paid work. Few I saw were volunteers giving their time to help the community. It seems that volunteers are relegated to the lowest of the Order of Australia distinctions, unworthy of the higher orders, but they give so much to the community to improve our lives. Eira Battaglia, Seaforth
Looking through the rolls of honor, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the almost complete dominance of those with “Anglo” surnames, particularly in the higher honors (AC and AO). This is what it might have looked like in the 1960s. This list is not representative of Australian society today. Dale Bailey, Five Dock
Congratulations to Hannah Vanderheide for raising body image awareness (“Ridiculous to believe women’s bodies aren’t allowed to change”, 26 January), an apt comment made by Taryn Brumfitt now for Australian of the Year (“Inspirational Influencer for Body Positivity” , January 26). My daughter is also an eating disorder survivor going through a life changing, devastating struggle to survive. However, I continue to get regularly frustrated when I hear people congratulating others on looking thinner. Please stop commenting on other people’s body size and shape. Pam Ayling, West Pennant Hills
How to make Paddy’s Market a popular destination
It’s a welcome relief that the spotlight is finally turning to the rather tired Paddy’s Market area of town (“Plan to take Paddy’s upmarket puts stallholders on edge,” January 26).
In its heyday, the fruit and vegetable component of this area was essential for fresh farm produce. Some 75 years later, however, it’s now possible to simply visit a local standalone vegetable and fruit market at a nearby shopping mall, let alone the weekly fruit and vegetable markets in most areas of Sydney.
The fact that Paddy’s Market has become a hot spot for cheap jewelry and handbags is the result of this change. It’s exciting to read that we could try to emulate the rebirth of London’s Covent Garden. It too was once a wholesale area for fruit and vegetables. I worked in this field 50 years ago. During the day, when the markets closed at dawn, in the West End it was just a still reservoir;
30 years after fruit and veg moved on, it has now become a vibrant day and night hub of activities, bursting with style. It is now one of the top tourist destinations in London. With the right talent, we could also achieve the same very welcome transformation. greg vale, kiama
Too manly and old fashioned
Alexandra Smith has provided NSW Labor with a succinct slogan for the March election (‘Why Perrottet won’t risk reshuffle’, 26 January). She described Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet as the leader of an aging government that is “too manly and too stale”. The fact that Perrottet has been unable to counter any of these criticisms means voters are being urged to vote for a male-dominated Liberal party. Perrottet tried to push the case for more women but failed to convince his own faction. There is no doubt that Labor leader Chris Minns will make the best of Perrottet’s problems. James Moore, Kogarah
We carry the can
It is now acknowledged that firefighters’ union concerns will require an additional 60 cross-passages to connect two railroad tunnels at a cost of $100 million (“$100 million to address subway tunnel safety hazard,” 26 January). Fire and Rescue NSW had raised serious concerns about the impact on firefighter safety more than two years ago. The government’s solution of the day? Don’t make a rational decision and just ignore it until it can no longer be ignored and the cost is maximized. The people of NSW are being unnecessarily bled dry once more to eventually bear the can for this avoidable mismanagement.
Dennis Sullivan, Greystanes
Docic comment a privilege
The abusive mistreatment of people, especially women, on social media and the media in general must be strongly criticized (Letters, January 26). Jelena Dokic is a wonderful tennis commentator: informed, insightful and of high quality. She rose to the top ranks of her sport despite a terrifying domestic situation. She deserves our utmost respect both as a media figure and as a human being. We must judge people based on who and what they are, rather than attacking and ridiculing anyone who doesn’t conform to a rigid stereotype. As a tennis fan, I just love hearing and watching Dokic. It’s a real privilege. Thank you Elena. Dorothy Raymond, silver ridge
I’m 57 years old and I remember being bullied sometimes when I was in school. This was before the internet, smartphones and today’s modern life. Jelena, despite the trolls and bullies, please keep holding your head high and be the fabulous role model you have become to so many. I’m sure I speak for the majority of Australians. Alison Green, Bulli
Liberal delivery list
Their digital correspondent claims “the current liberal dynasty has accomplished more than any state government in history”. It depends what you call “delivering” (Digital view, January 26). They leased the profitable Land Titles Registry and diverted the profits elsewhere. They have sold billions worth of public assets including important historic buildings, removed public facilities but helped some. They’ve delivered another load of prohibitive tolls. They have provided poverty wages for government employees. They have delivered faulty trains, light rail and ferries. They turned Barangaroo over to gambling spies and the high-rise industry. You ruined the Powerhouse Museum in the eyes of many. One of their prime ministers expected us to just accept that grabbing pork is the order of the day. Yes I suppose you could say they delivered. Peter Thompson, Grenfell
We need central skylight
One problem that many overlook with both of the redevelopment proposals for the Hauptbahnhof area is the “deck” over the regional train platforms (Letters, January 26). For buildings above, projections show little to no space to let in natural light. This will relegate a sizeable chunk of Sydney’s traveling public to a platform that’s artificially lit at best and dingy at worst. Bates Smart’s ‘land bridge’ goes even further, doing the same for local commuters. No top-class main station would be so low and roofed without a skylight. A less densely built deck with skylights is required. Alternatively, one located above the railway line south of the station. This is eventually connected to the existing park and to Chippendale. Luke Etma, river view
I have seen two Irish films in the past year. The quiet girl was nominated for an Oscar without fanfare; its use of Gaelic was a delight, and it deserves its nomination (“From Sequels to Blockbuster Hits, It’s the Year the Oscars Got Mainstream,” January 26). The Banshees by Inisherin was hyped to the moon, but this Irish-Australian film was dull, boring, unfunny, slow and neither engaging nor entertaining. Whatever allegory or metaphor Martin McDonagh tried to convey was lost in his film’s bloated futility. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope your experience is better than mine and the hype was right. William Perry, Mount Keira
The digital gaze
Commenting online on one of the stories that got the most reader feedback on smh.com.au yesterday
Royal drama drives Australian voters towards Republic: Poll
from soapbox: ″I like the theory of an Australian republic, but I dread the thought of who we would end up with as president.″
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