The Queens Birthday in Australia. Most people usually spend the day as a holiday, taking time off from work and enjoying their long weekend.
Some spend that day watching the parades at State Government Houses. Which are quite the spectacle that many should bring their families to see.
However, what is the day really about? Why is it a holiday in the first place? Why should we celebrate the Queens birthday and not to change the day to something for the Aboriginals?
Here are some questions that I’ve been asked and some that I’ve put up myself to answer.
Most would say that Queen Elizabeth was born in April, which is true, so why do we celebrate her birthday in June?
Well, it’s because it’s the date in which our state governments determined it to be the day to celebrate it. For example, Western Australia celebrates it in September, Queensland celebrates it in October. The dates are fixed by the Australian states to suit the Australian calendar.
Do Australians really care about the Queens Birthday?
Personally, I think Australians on some level do care, for it is one of the very few holidays we have left that is ours. But most Aussies, similarly to other Commonwealth countries citizens, just see it as a day off. Most people just don’t think about it and enjoy the holiday.
Another question that has been said is, “Why should we be celebrating the birthday of a foreign monarch, wouldn’t it be better to have a public holiday for the First Peoples of this country instead?”
To which I reply with, by how many holidays, celebrations, weeks and a month dedicated to Aboriginals, why can’t we have a day where Aussies celebrate their Monarch? A Monarch mind you, that isn’t foreign. She is the Queen of Australia, by right of the Australian Constitution, by right of the act of the Australian Parliament, and most importantly by right of vote from the Australian people, due to the Referendum in 1999, where the people of Australia voted to retain the Monarchy. Queen Elizabeth is sovereign of this country, by the Australian peoples choice.
Another question is, should we treat this holiday more reverently?
In some respects, I believe that the state parliaments should treat the holiday more reverently. Or at least to the extent of a parade. But it’s wholly to the people’s choice to treat it as such and for the government to treat the holiday with respect and reverence.