NT Aboriginal leader defends January 26 Australia Day
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NT Aboriginal leader defends January 26 Australia Day

The Indigenous daughter of a former Northern Territory government minister says people shouldn't feel guilty for celebrating Australia Day on January 26.

Alice Springs town councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price wrote on Facebook that changing the date wouldn't help Aboriginal victims of domestic violence or children who miss out on school.

Jacinta Price an Alice Springs town councillor. She is a Warlpiri/Celtic woman who has grown up in Alice Springs.

Jacinta Price an Alice Springs town councillor. She is a Warlpiri/Celtic woman who has grown up in Alice Springs.Credit:Facebook

"Yes, let's learn about our past and our history, but how is changing the date going to do a thing for the Aboriginal women dying at the hands of Aboriginal men, the Aboriginal children who miss out on school and an education and the Aboriginal children who are living in dysfunctional circumstances?" she wrote.

"I can bet you London to a brick they are not concerned with a date change. It is the Aboriginal middle class who are concerned about date changes and those pushing the agenda come from privilege themselves in comparison to the Aboriginal people who are the country's most marginalised."

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Ms Price said if the date was changed, "there will be something else for the Aboriginal middle class activists and guilt-ridden white fellas to be offended about".

She said the 2008 apology to Australia's Indigenous people had not changed things for the better.

"The future is far more important to me than our past," she wrote.

"Our future is where we should be focused, so that the most marginalised Aboriginal people of this country whose first language is usually not English, who do not have access to media, whose lives are affected at alarming rates by family violence can have the same opportunities as those who claim to feel pain because a country celebrates how lucky we are on a date that marks the arrival of the First Fleet.

"People want to call it a day of mourning. Well us Aboriginal people have become professional mourners.

"We are constantly in a state of mourning it seems ... mourning does not give us freedom, it imprisons us and I have had enough. I bury my family far too regularly and that is all the mourning I can handle.

"I want to pull my people out of the crippling state of mourning and I don't want anyone to feel guilty or bad for feeling joy and celebrating a country we love."

Ms Price is the daughter of former Country Liberals minister Bess Price.

Michael Gorey is a reporter at The Canberra Times

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