How do we move forward as one to celebrate our country?
WHEN I was growing up, the build-up to Australia Day always symbolised the end of the summer holidays.
People from all different walks of life celebrated together with their own traditions.
Whether it was recognising community members at an Australia Day awards ceremony, or hosting a barbecue with your family and family, it was such a cheerful time to unite before the start of a new school year.
However, now I see a nation that has become divided about this day.
I have seen hateful messages online and offline, which is anything but inclusive.
Traditionally, the date January 26 marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet to Australia.
However, in recent years it has been called names like Invasion Day, Survival Day or Day of Mourning.
People who support these movements want to change the date to one that's inclusive of and respectful to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Of course I want to celebrate this beautiful country we are fortunate enough to inhabit every day.
But, I also don't want to do so knowing it is a painful day for many indigenous people across the nation.
So the question I keep asking myself and the others around me is - how do we move forward together?
Right now I don't have the answers but I hope in time, as a country, we can come together as the thriving multicultural society we are.
Whether it means changing the date or not, I'd like to believe that people in higher positions will be able to act in a respectful manner when deciding on the future of this day.
In a year's time I wonder if there will even be an Australia Day.
If you're wondering what I did for the controversial date this year, my boyfriend and I drove back from Rockhampton and we listened to six hours worth of true crime podcasts.