Welcome to Country, Goodbye Australia Day

Sunshine and surrounding suburbs in Melbourne’s west will not be observing Australia Day in 2024.  Residents learned this on 12 December at Brimbank Council’s last meeting for 2023.  The council runs a sprawling municipality of over half a million souls, encompassing Deer Park, Sunshine, St Albans, Kealba, Taylors Lakes and historic Keilor.

It was a packed meeting with extra chairs carried in for the many ratepayers who attended. Three security guards were also laid on — one stood either side of the room, and a third (who kept noisily grunting) sat in the back row amid a contingent of elderly Vietnamese. The Mayor, Cr Ranka Rasic, started the meeting by reading out a prepared statement that comments or protests from members of the public would not be tolerated, and anyone who disrupted the meeting would be ejected from the building.

Cr Rasic next called all present to stand, then gave a formal acknowledgment of country, and the meeting got underway.  After accepting the minutes of November’s council meeting it was on to correspondence from ratepayers.  A theme running through letters cited was the seeming reluctance of councillors to actually meet with ratepayers.  One letter about a meeting to ratify the council’s new policy on LGBTQ+ matters pointed out that, while there was a strong turnout of the local LGBTQ+ community, most councillors did not attend.  However, Councillors defensively took the line that its easy enough throughout the year for ratepayers to contact them, so there is no need for ratepayers to meet with or address the council.

The first few letters asked about the independence of councillors.  Cr Rasic speedily dealt with them by referring the correspondent to the relevant regulations, quoting a code number. 

The next letter pointed out that council meetings begin with all standing for an acknowledgement of country, but the National Anthem is neither played nor sung.  Emphasising that the National Anthem is inclusive and acknowledges all Australians, not just one race, the correspondent requested that in future it be sung at the start of all Council Meetings.  Cr Rasic once again referred to the council’s regulations (code number quoted), saying that they prescribe the acknowledgement of country, but not the National Anthem.  No councillor took up the proposal to play or sing the National Anthem in meetings, so the meeting moved on.

Another letter asked that the council not be so eager to substitute Aboriginal names for local place names, complaining that history can be erased.  This prompted informal discussion between councillors, who were displeased, several saying decisions had already been made and could not be reversed. Mayor Rasic referred to the council’s regulations (code number quoted), and moved along.

Then came a letter requesting that the council observe Australia Day, hold a citizenship ceremony and support community events on the day.  Council members became quite animated at this point.  There were worried looks, heads were shaken, and some talked between themselves.  The former mayor, Cr Bruce Lancashire, informed the meeting that Australia Day 2024 was falling at the start of the long weekend, adding that no ceremony had been scheduled.  It was then back to Cr Rasic, who referred to the Council’s regulations (code number quoted), and stressed that no change to non-observances of previous years would be occurring.

Thus runs politics at the lowest level of democratic government in Melbourne’s western suburbs.  Citizen ratepayers make suggestions to their representatives on the council.  But those representatives are not prepared to discuss in meetings the suggestions put to them, let alone propose them as motions.  Indeed, what councillors have against the National Anthem, and Australia Day, they broadcast across the municipality.  All talk of such matters is shut down by quoting a regulation which is treated as absolute, never to be relaxed or changed.

Most astonishing is that there is nothing unreasonable about wanting to sing the National Anthem before meetings or other council events; or wanting to observe Australia Day by holding Citizenship Ceremonies as well as supporting related community events.  Citizens are allowed to do these things across the rest of this nation.  But, alas, not in Melbourne’s west.

33 thoughts on “Welcome to Country, Goodbye Australia Day

  • David R says:

    What a shower [Regulation number forgotten]
    The sentence in the bottom right of the pamphlet is a sick joke the butt of which is obviously the ratepayers of Brimbank.

  • Daffy says:

    So are those who complain going to stand for council, or get involved in local politics? If not, then they should pipe down.

  • Brian Boru says:

    Step 1. Discuss with locals as to whether they are unhappy about the Council.
    Step 2. Organize candidates in all electorates who will support the National Anthem, Australia Day and the abolishing of the repugnant Acknowledgement. Propose an all encompassing Acknowledgement that recognizes Australia as an egalitarian country where all are equal.
    Step 3. Campaign at the next Council election in favour of your candidates and replace this un-Australian wokeist lot.

  • Blair says:

    There needs to be an introduction of quotas to get the gender balance right.

  • padraic says:

    More irony Blair. Good one. But hey, isn’t the gender balance correct under the new way of implementing quotas? Or is it another system where it takes only 3 men to do the work of 8 women? Daffy is right though, action is needed. Brian Boru has the right solution. Standing for the “Welcome to country”!!?? What next? Provision of Cats-o-nine tails for self flagellation at all Council meetings?

    • Lo says:

      What if you don’t stand for welcome to whatever? And why not have your own Australia Day get togethers. We are not slaves that we have to do as our masters wish, are we?

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “Indeed, what councillors have against the National Anthem, and Australia Day, they broadcast across the municipality. All talk of such matters is shut down by quoting a regulation which is treated as absolute, never to be relaxed or changed.”
    All of us Australians are fortunate to have an educational resource like this Brimbank Council down there in Victoria, and so readily available, with its decrees not doubt to be carved in stone for public view. Going by this account, to visit that Shire, Municipality or whatever is to a trip back in time to Nazi Germany. Next, we will surely have a purge of the Council’s local libraries and a public burning of all politically incorrect stuff found therein.
    But it gets worse. The history of human settlement in Australia was first in, the original Tasmanian Aborigines. The continent was Tasmanians from shore to sunny shore. Then, without any invitation from any Tasmanian, came the Murrayan Aborigines, who pushed the Tasmanians south where they were isolated by the rising waters of the Bass Strait at the end of the last glaciation in the Pleistocene series. Next came the Carpentarians, much taller and ‘gracile’ than the Murrayans, which said Cartpentarians had not been invited in either. They pushed the Murrayans south, and they probably went most reluctantly before the formidable Carpentarian war spears.
    Then came various European explorers, the First Fleet full to the brim with convicts, the Rum Corps, etc, etc, etc and it all went pear-shaped from there; for Tasmanians, Murrayans, Carpentarians, the lot.
    I hope that I didn’t leave anyone out. If I did, please consider them included.

  • Stephen Due says:

    The point is that if the council tells them to stand, they will stand. The people of Australia have no backbone left. Without organised opposition – that means competent people have to put in the time and effort – the destruction of the country by the councils and parliaments will continue unabated.

  • exuberan says:

    What an amazing eye opener, even had there own goons on standby

  • Stephen says:

    Time for revolution. Pile all these council members into a Tumbril and wheel them to the local place de la concorde……


    I offer two observations: The first, and most disturbing is the obligatory ‘acknowledgement of country’ prerequisite to official gatherings is reminiscent of the obligatory Heil Hitler show of obedience to totalitarian rule. Secondly, pertaining to the adherence to ‘inclusivity’ dogma, I notice the hypocracy of only three men to eight women, a negatively skewed 37%, in the councllor line-up. Are these perhaps ‘token’ males?

  • Adelagado says:

    I just got back from a month in the UK. Previously I’ve been to Italy and Greece. But regardless of the destination, any trip to a European country will remind you how utterly primitive was the Australian indigenous culture. These nit wits paying their respects to elders ‘past, present and future’ have no idea how stupid that really is. The aboriginal elders of the past produced almost nothing that is worthy of respect, and a great deal to be ashamed of. The present elders are better known for drunkenness and begging than anything else, And paying respect to future elders (of any race) is simply nonsense.

    • Gordon Cheyne says:

      Well, we brought them the wheel, agriculture and the industrial revolution: that’s a lot to cope with.
      I think a bit like you: I’ll show the elders (past, present and emerging) some respect when I see them doing something in their communities about alcoholism, wife beating, youth violence and enforcing school attendance.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Local councils are excellent sites for political take-overs if the people being served are unwary as most have been. Like the Gramscian march through the institutions, with our councils it’s been take-over by stealth, introduced by innocent-sounding policies, just as in our schools. (‘Safe Schools” anyone?)

    Today our councils are predominantly of the green-left. Don’t you even think of touching a leaf on any tree on your own property unless you beg for their permission and pay a fee for their refusal. They’ve been taken over by candidates claiming to be ‘independent’ but who are the captured ideologues of socialism. They gain votes by claiming to be concerned with local ‘environmental’ matters (which turn out to be ‘net zero’ ones) and social issues (beware of this you misgendering bigot) and to be against ‘over-development’ (by which they mean any ‘capitalist’ ventures, often quite desirable projects). Under these guises the 5th column candidates slip their poison into local councils until they have built up a network of local support. They generally meet no effective opposition. And do you know what? We let it happen.

    So don’t just write letters to your woke Councillors, tell them you are coming after them at the next election. Then stick to your guns and do so. Stand against them on a platform of ending their nonsensical rule, or at least positively barrack for those who do this. Door knock and leaflet drop and hand out how-to-votes; and bring your friends. Especially if your supporters are young and keen. It all takes stamina, which is why the green-lefties so often win; they’ve grown their own disciples at our cost in our schools and universities. But there is something we all can do: vote. Just as we recently voted: NO.

    • john mac says:

      Excellent post, Elizabeth and may I say without offending you that local councils have become fiefdoms of feminism, with all the feel good vindictiveness that is their specialty. Two of the three councils I must deal with have women mayors, women reps and are a nightmare to deal with. A recent example was when I helped my ailing brothe ( he has since died) move into my old house , a rental now, and on moving in he parked his car slightly askew , no hindrance to anyone , yet this on a Sunday had two council goons , both female come onto my property to threaten a fine for his very temporary park ! They appeared out of nowhere, would have been on huge pay to drive around and intimidate ratepayers , not troublemakers ! Another occasion two more females came to my house to tell me to put the hard rubbish back inside , as it was a day early ! Sound like a misogynist don’t I !

  • gilmay97 says:

    Australia Day is our symbolic day of unity for all Australians to celebrate the birth of our nation: From humble beginnings to world recognition as a country of excellence, of freedoms, success, achievement, and strength — a country where anyone can be whatever they choose if they are prepared to work hard.
    We are the envy of many countries, who would love to have our freedoms, friendly nature, and mateship — where we all help each other during times of hardship and disaster as friends, we donate and comfort those in distress.
    Some create a sad distortion of fact and history on Australian Day, displaying unforgiving anger at our Australia Day celebrations and at historic facts which are unchangeable, they do not structure their argument correctly and do not understand history — the never read the “Additional Instructions for Lt. James Cook”: Australia was never invaded it was settled, the local inhabitants were scattered stone-age people with no cohesive central structure or unity.
    Those with angry words and protests on Australia Day say they are speaking for their ancestors — which ones, as many speakers have predominantly European genetics, therefore must carry the responsibility of their majority genetics they are complaining about — and admonish themselves for their ancestors’ perceived errors.
    We acknowledge it was a tough world over 230 years ago, atrocities were committed worldwide, and errors made by both sides in Australia — we are universally ashamed of them — but we cannot view the world all those years ago with today’s vision. It was a very different world, of tough basic survival of different people, living under different conditions, with different attitudes, laws, and behaviour. While we look back with disapproval we must also look forward to better times for all people of Australia.
    Acknowledged errors of history are best left behind allowing us to move ahead— we must never carry the burden of life’s errors made by people we never knew into the future, these must be discarded and left behind, and our future of better times embraced.

    We are not responsible for other people’s actions, errors, opinions, or stupidity — and certainly not what was done many years ago by people we never knew. We must not hate today’s children because their ancestors started horrific wars, we must forgive and forget — and move on into the future as friends.

    Australia was discovered by Egyptians, Chinese, Vikings, Sumerians, Indonesians, Persians, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English — anyone of these nations would have eventually settled Australia. Protestors need to do some analysis and be thankful it was the most well-meaning of all nations, the British — whose laws are universally held with high respect and adopted by many nations.
    If protestors are not happy with the excellent opportunities available to them in Australia, they should consider life in North Vietnam, Iran, or China?

    There are many people who were victims of horrific wars, tortures, and prisoner-of-war-camps, they knew they could not change history however horrific, they moved on with their lives, became successful going on to enjoy the beauties life holds for everyone. They migrated to Australia and contributed to making this a great country, they joined our communities and families — they have contributed greatly to our country because they put past cruelties and anger behind them. They chose to have-a-go and not expect others to keep them on taxpayers’ money — as always, your life is your choice.
    Many came here with nothing, some with broken hearts from terrible atrocities and no understanding of English—they wanted to succeed, and nothing could stop their determination; they learnt English, worked long hard hours, and went on to be successful people because they wanted to — that opportunity is available to everyone. Migrants cannot understand when an aboriginal succeeds, it is noteworthy.
    The European migration to Australia provided the native people with a great civilisation advancement from the stone-age to modern civilisation, sadly not accepted by some — preferring an isolated lifestyle refusing or being unable to understand or accept civilised laws requiring respectful treatment of women and children, and each other free from violence and physical abuse?
    Australia belongs to all the people who call Australia home, and if you do not wish to join us, it’s your choice and your loss—we move on and leave your bitterness, and contrived anger behind where it belongs. What was done many years ago is not relevant today.
    Some want to recognise the original owners in the constitution preamble — Why? They were a different race, unrelated to current people and have been dead possibly a million years and their place taken by others, numerous times — what purpose does it serve recognising very ancient dead extinct people we know nothing about?
    We are all here today only because we won WW2 — discard your minor historical grievances and be very thankful we did win the War: Lest We Forget — we are all fellow Australians. Protestors must show some appreciation of the battles won (and a few lost), we are alive today and live in freedom, enjoy your life, make it meaningful, positive, and successful — with friendship to all Australians.

    We all know Captain Cook was not the first to discover Australia: Who cares — Let’s have a party a barbeque and a beer.
    Let us all enjoy the celebrations together as fellow Australians — we do not have enough times of celebration where we all share fellowship and national pride in our achievements, our nation, and each other — Our life’s years are short, enjoy them.
    We are a nation of many people from all corners of the earth, from 238 different countries who came to start a new life as fellow Australians, together we have made a great nation — be proud of each other, your family, your achievements, and our future together as friends.
    We join one day every year and celebrate that we have a great country to live in, as proud fellow Australians — share our fellowship — look forward to the future — and say, “G’day Mate”.


  • Mike says:

    gilmay97 100%

    Unless things change, it will not be ‘Goodbye Australia Day’ it will be ‘Goodbye Australia’.

    • SimonBenson says:

      Methinks Mike we can all take solace in the fact that Albo’s baby – the alleged “voice” referendum – was overwhelmingly not wanted by two thirds of all Australians including ATSI people and Labor voters. All we need do to preserve any sense of nationhood in the immediate foreseeable future is to throw the bath water out with Albo’s baby and vote the ALP resoundingly out at the next federal election. Politically, Albo knows he’s a “dead man walking” as he squeezes the lemon of what’s left of overseas junkets and prime ministerial perks. Wait for it. He’ll be pushing for a plum posting. And like so many, it won’t be here but overseas. So much for Labor’s enduring interest in their country. News flash for Labor: do the basics well and abandon empty symbolism that most Aussies see through and you all might enjoy some measure of political success and actually do what you’re lawfully required to do under our Constitution: “good government”. May the voice referendum serve as a salutary lesson for all future politicians that as elected MPs, you serve us, the people, who are, as much as it may stick in your throats, sovereign, not you.

  • Stephen says:

    A pretty good effort from the Seekers

    I came from the dreamtime
    From the dusty red soil plains
    I am the ancient heart
    The keeper of the flames
    I Stood upon the rocky shore
    I watched the tall ships come
    For forty thousand years I’ve been the first Australian

    I came upon the prison ships
    Bound down by iron chains
    I cured the land
    Endured the lash
    And waited for the rains
    I’m a settler
    I’m a farmers wife
    On a dry and barren run
    A convict and a free man
    I became Australian

    I’m a daughter of a digger
    Who sought the mother load
    The girl became a women
    On the long and dusty road
    I’m a child of the depression
    I saw the good time come
    I’m a bushy I’m a battler
    I am Australian

    We are one
    But we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come
    We’ll share a dream
    And sing with one voice
    I am, you are, we are Australian

    I’m a teller of stories
    I’m a singer of songs
    I am Albert Namatjira
    And I paint the ghostly gums
    I’m Clancy on his horse
    I’m Ned Kelly on the run
    I’m the one who waltzed matilda
    I am Australian

    I’m the hot wind from the desert
    I’m the black soil of the plain
    I’m the mountains and the valleys
    I’m the drowned and flooding rains
    I am the rock
    I am the sky
    The rivers when they run
    The spirit of this great land
    I am Australian

    We are one
    But we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come
    We’ll share a dream
    And sing with one voice
    I am, you are, we are Australian

    We are one
    But we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come
    We’ll share a dream
    And sing with one voice
    I am, you are, we are Australian

  • bollux says:

    Obviously a sad day when women were given the vote and allowed out of the kitchen.

  • SimonBenson says:

    Then again, these are the raving mad views of some tin pot local council.
    What else can you seriously expect from a bunch of third rate ignorant pigs but an occasional grunt?

  • svfbrain says:

    It is a principle of those pursuing supranational power that national pride must be suppressed at every opportunity. The EU is as guilty as the UN of doing this. Thus, the One World Government zealots will belittle Australia Day as just another shameful reminder of national illegitimacy.

  • Mike says:

    Remember when Australian cricket took a stand against South African Apartheid.

    Currently Australia is playing cricket against Pakistan.

    This is a news report from Lahore Pakistan – birth place of Mehreen Faruqi, who is currently telling Australians how to run our country.
    Lahore (AsiaNews) – Religious minorities in Pakistan face human rights violations daily, including forced conversions, child brides, and attacks using and abusing, laws and regulations such as those on blasphemy, often used against rivals or to settle personal disputes. The problem is especially acute for Christian and Hindu girls and young women.

    Given this ever-present emergency, some prominent figures and advocacy groups made an appeal yesterday, 10 December, Human Rights Day. Celebrated around the world, the observance commemorates the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948, 75 years ago.

    The appeal is addressed to Pakistan’s police, judiciary, government officials, and political leaders to enforce the law and protect those who are victims of abuse.

  • Ron Manners says:

    Like most levels of government, Local Government has little idea of their legitimate role.
    It is certainly not to dabble in such Cultural Cringe like this.

    Their local residents/ratepayers should remind them to get back to emptying our bins and sweeping the roads!

  • Mike says:

    Worldwide, easily the most consistently, coherent aspect of Leftist-wokeism, is, hypocrisy.

  • bowlesm says:

    People in the area must have voted for these people. What does that say about them.

  • bowlesm says:

    I always loathed Bjelke-Petersen but now I think we need people like him running state governments. He would never have tolerated this.

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