TV

Brooke Boney's passionate Australia Day date change speech on the Today Show

The new Today Show host is already making waves with a heartfelt push to change the day we celebrate Australia Day.

By Rebecca Sullivan
New Today Show host and proud indigenous woman Brooke Boney has used her massive public platform on the breakfast show to back the push to change the date we celebrate Australia Day.
There is a growing movement in Australia to move the celebrations on January 26 to a different day.
This is because January 26 actually marks the day Britain officially colonised Australia in 1788.
That's when the First Flight arrived with 11 ships of convicts and white people first settled in Australia. But prior to this day, Australia's indigenous population had been living without intervention for at least 65,000 years.
Indigenous Australians, often referred to as "First Australians" or "First Nations", instead describe Australia Day as "Invasion Day", because January 26 marks the date their culture was "destroyed by white people".
Brooke Broney has long used her public profile to advocate for indigenous issues.
Back when she used to read the news on Triple J breakfast, she used the word "Yaama" instead of "hello" when introducing herself on radio.
"Yaama" is the greeting of her community, the Gamilaroi people.
She continued to raise awareness on the fourth day in her new job with Channel Nine, when the discussion turned to Australia Day.
"I'm part of that community. I'm a Gamilaroi woman, my family's from northern NSW, been there for about 60,000 years or so," Boney told her Today Show co-hosts Deb Knight, Georgie Gardner and Tony Jones on Thursday morning's program.
Brooke Boney shared her impassioned views on why we need to change the date of Australia Day. (Image: Nine Network)
Brooke at the Crown x IMG Tennis Party in Melbourne this week. (Image: Instagram)
"This date comes up every year. I'm not trying to tell anyone else what they should do or how they should be celebrating, but I feel like I have more reason than anyone to love this country as much as I do," Boney continued.
"I'm the oldest of six kids, (with a) single mum. I get to sit on the Today Show to talk to you guys about this. I get to travel around the world with the Prime Minister and ask him questions about issues. This is the best country in the world, no doubt," she said.
"But I can't separate 26 January from the fact that my brothers are more likely to go to jail than they are to go to school, or that my little sisters and my mum are more likely to be beaten or raped than anyone else's sisters or mum. And that started from that day."
"For me it is a difficult day and I don't want to celebrate it. But any other day of the year I will tie an Australian flag around my neck and run through the streets."
A man at a Change The Date rally. (image: Getty)
Sports presenter Tony Jones asked Boney why she thought a change of date was so important.
"Because that's the first day; that's the day that it changed for us. That's sort of the beginning of what some people would say is 'the end'. That's the turning point," Boney explained.
As for when she believes Australia Day should be held, Boney suggested January 1, which is the day our separate states and territories came together in 1901 to become one nation and formed the Commonwealth of Australia.
"Move it to the day of federation," Boney said.
"Chuck on another public holiday at the end or just celebrate it on another day, but I think a day that suits more people is probably going to be more uniting."
Brooke Boney is a proud Indigenous woman. (Image: Suppled)
Today Show viewers were divided on social media about whether the day should be changed.
Some were hugely supportive of a change.
"Changing the date isn't about changing current circumstances for Indigenous people, it's about acknowledging that that was the day Australia was invaded and massacres began of the native people of this land and forever changed their way of life. It's like we are celebrating the mass killings of their people. Any other day everyone can celebrate and come together as a unified nation," one person commented.
While another said: "This adult, sensible conversation about Australia Day was outstanding - very impressed with the change in presenters!"
WATCH BELOW: The brand new Today Show lineup
But others viewers strongly disagreed.
"This is just dividing the nation. Recent polls have said that 75 % of Aussies are happy with the current date . It's something that should unite us . Not the opposite and should never be a political football. Every year it comes up and ordinary Aussies are over it!" one person wrote.
Others said: "So where does personal responsibility start?" and "Stop complaining, it was a long time ago, move on."
Whatever your stance on the Australia Day date change, there's no denying Brookey Boney is using her new public platform to debate the big issues.
We can't wait for more Brooke!

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