Tomorrow, as you all know is Australia Day. To all our friends and fans out there who are gearing up to celebrate it, we wish you all the very best.
Enjoy your barbecues, get out for a surf, tune in the Hottest 100. Whatever you are planning to do - have a ball! Just like you, we know there is so much for Australians to be immensely proud of, and we wholeheartedly agree that those things should be celebrated.
We will not, however, be celebrating tomorrow.
January 26 marks the anniversary of the British settlement of Australia. Whilst it is a positive commemoration for some, for many others it is a tragic anniversary. For the indigenous people who were here long before those boats came, January 26 marks the beginning of the end of their way of life - a way of life that they had enjoyed for over 40,000 years. 26 January is day white man arrived with his guns, his alcohol, his church, his flus and other unknown illnesses.
Out of all the days of the year that we could possibly choose to celebrate this wonderful nation of Australia, we think it’s frankly sickening that we continue to celebrate on this cruelest of anniversaries, January 26.
We look forward to a time where a new day is chosen to celebrate our great nation - a day that we can all truly get behind.
January 1st, our day of Federation as a nation, has been widely suggested.
But when else? Let’s put our heads together and try and come up with something better.
Maybe 22 September - the day Cathy Freeman won the 400m at the Sydney Olympics? Or even better, September 26, a date shared by both an Australian yacht winning the America’s Cup and also the day that Crocodile Dundee topped the box office in the USA! How good is that!
OK, I kid.
So seriously… what about a birthday? Henry Lawson’s birthday, June 17? Or even better, Eddie Mabo’s birthday on June 29?
Or what about 16 August?
That was the date back in 1975 that the then Prime Minster Gough Whitlam visited a remote area in the Northern Territory. There he famously poured a handful of soil into the hands of Gurindji man Vincent Lingiari to symbolically mark the handing back of Wave Hill station to the Gurindji people. Imagine that - a world leader, standing in the desert, symbolically `giving the land back’ to it’s traditional owners. Wow!
Just imagine if we could all get behind and celebrate a symbol as potent and as positive as that, in the same way that we say, commemorate the memory of young soldiers storming the beaches of Turkey on ANZAC Day for example.
Or perhaps the day we need has not even occurred yet? Perhaps it is the day in the (hopefully) not too distant future where we finally recognise Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people and their tens of thousands of year history in our constitution?
Or maybe, just maybe, it is the day in the future when this nation finally becomes a Republic? Imagine that…
Whatever day we choose, it must be something that all Australians can truly get behind once and for all.
And anything would be better than the 26th of January.
There is a $1Million reward for the person who leads Police to William. Their identity could be protected and if they had fears for their safety, protection could also be offered. So, if you know what has happened to William, now is the time to come forward and contact Police before Police contact you! Police have received more than 2,800 reports via Crime Stoppers, 196 direct to Strike Force Rosann and 1,078 possible sightings in the largest investigation in NSW. Strike Force Rosann has identified 690 persons of interest. To address the number of persons of interest Police have increased the size of their strike force. To find out what has happened to William they are casting their net very wide with their second taskforce being assisted by other police operations groups including the armed hold-up squad, the sex crimes squad and the fraud squad. Rewards are usually paid out on the arrest and conviction of the offender. However, the recovery of William has been added as a condition on this reward - the largest reward offered in NSW history. "If you've got information regarding William's disappearance and you've got concerns that you could be potentially complicit in the offence by concealing the offence, THAT OFFENCE WILL BE NEGATED THE MOMENT YOU COME TO POLICE!" “This is a very proactive operation and we are following numerous lines of inquiry. We are committed to finding out what has happened to William. We’re not going to sit on our hands and wait for someone to come forward. "I'm confident it's only a matter of time before we find out what's happened to William. However, IF WE COME TO YOU THE REWARD IS OFF THE TABLE!" Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin (12 Sept 2016). Make the call! Call Crime Stoppers now before Police call on you! 1800 333 000 #OneMillionReasons, #BringHimHome, #BringWilliamHome, #MakeTheCall, #WheresWilliam, #NowsTheTime
"Walking home from the White Box Rise shops with 4 bags of shopping and the postie comes up behind me on his motorbike. He stops and asks if they are heavy and asks me where I live. I tell him the address and he tells me to put the bags in his satchels and tells me he will leave them on the front step for me. I thank him profusely and can't believe that he would offer to do that. 5 minutes later he is back telling me mission accomplished." (Credit: Facebook/Albury Wodonga Random Acts of Kindness" #9Today
As you’ve heard, Will has a heap of mates… like a heap of mates! And we've seen a flood of them come through the doors of the hospital (which he loves). But we all know in a time of crisis there’s always that one person that brings you peace and comfort over anyone else - and for Will, that’s Finn. Finn and Will have been friends since birth and have been raised like cousins. They can go months without seeing each other, but when they do, there’s a bond that allows them to pick straight back up from where they left off. It’s fair to say that Finn has sat next to Will’s bed since his accident more than I even have. Finn has been Will’s hands for the last 2 weeks, organising his phone, movies, music, etc. Finn brings the perfect balance of football and playstation discussion and slapstick humour to the table and Will has gone so far as to tell doctors that mentally he feels best when Finn is with him.
So - here’s how you can help. Finn is in Year 10 at Cornish College and he is required to do Community Service every Friday after 11am. Finn would like to propose to the school that instead of doing Community Service with his class that he does his community service at the RCH by helping Will with his rehab.
Finn, Will and I have discussed this at length and the boys want to run a campaign #finndayfriday and they want to be able to go to the school and show how many people support this idea with their “likes”. The boys are aiming for 1k likes… but I think we can smash this out of the ballpark.