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Prof Merle Ricklefs AM, Professor Emeritus of the Australian National University, where he was formerly Director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies talks about the history of Australia Day and the continuing arguments about its aim and timing.
Why has it been difficult to achieve consensus about the purpose and timing of Australia Day? Why have some non-indigenous Australians argued against celebrating Australia Day on 26 January? How should we assess the role of the Australia Day Council in dealing with the controversies? Prof Merle Ricklefs AM explains.