Mark Latham Australia Day campaign launched

Former Glen Alpine resident Mark Latham speaks to the media during a press conference on the Save Australia Day Campaign Launch in Sydney. Picture: Daniel Munoz
Former Glen Alpine resident Mark Latham speaks to the media during a press conference on the Save Australia Day Campaign Launch in Sydney. Picture: Daniel Munoz

Mount Hunter resident and former opposition leader Mark Latham has launched a new Australia Day campaign to not change the date of the annual event.

Suggestions have been made to change the date of Australia Day to appease some Indigenous people who refer to January 26 as ‘Invasion Day’.

Mr Latham said the idea for the campaign started last year.

“This time last year it was clear that plans of abolishing Australia Day were getting stronger,” he said.

“People were approaching me asking where the argument was against this.

“The ABC and activists were pushing to change the date but we don’t want to lose our national day to celebrate and extend that ‘Big Brother’ feeling that is happening in this country.”

The ‘Save the Date’ campaign is supported by Indigenous Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price.

Mr Latham said it was important to work alongside Indigenous leaders.

“There is this furphy out there that all Indigenous people want Australia Day changed but I knew that wasn’t true,” he said.

“It’s great that we have Jacinta’s support.

‘She’s right there on the ground helping Indigenous people every day and as she said, ‘Changing the date will not change the circumstances of any disadvantaged Indigenous people’.’’

The campaign features ads on social media, TV and radio.

The ad represents a future where people are seen to be too scared to celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

Mr Latham said the advertising company came up with this idea.

“They said, ‘How about we show people what it would be like if Australia Day was changed?’” he said.

“It makes a point.”

Mr Latham said suggestions to change the date were not appropriate.

“We couldn’t have it on Federation Day which is January 1 because people tend to have a big celebration the night before,” he said.

“A man on Channel 9 this morning suggested June 3, which is the date of the Eddie Mabo decision, but if you asked the average person in Camden if they know the significance of June 3 they probably don’t.”

Mr Latham also praised the Camden Australia Day celebrations.

“Look at the parade in Camden each year – it’s great,” he said. 

“I think Camden leads the way in that regard.”

Mr Latham posted the ad on his Facebook page – Mark Latham’s Outsiders – yesterday alongside a short post.

“Imagine what would happen if the Greens and Labor left get their way and abolish Australia Day on January 26,” the post read.

“Please share this video as widely as possible to keep our great national day on January 26.”

More than 2000 people have already shared the ad.

This comes after the Triple J Hottest 100 was moved to another date this year in an effort to support Indigenous people.

MORE TO COME