'We were colonised': Clashes with police as thousands protest Australia Day

  • 27/01/2019

Australia Day has been met with a divided response.

Kylie Minogue says she's humbled and proud of making the Australia Day honours list. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her work in the performing arts, and days after quashing rumours she had weeks to live, Olivia Newton John was also recognised.

Australians took to beaches and the sea to celebrate Australia Day, but thousands also took to the streets to say the day marks the beginning of the genocide of the Aboriginal population.

From Sydney all the way to London, Australians protested.

"People are shocked that Australia celebrates the day that the first fleet arrived," one protester told Yahoo7 News. "They're shocked that's what we celebrate, that we were colonised."

More than 3000 marched in the Sydney heat from Hyde Park through the city on a day many in the community disagree with.

"It's a very disrespectful day to have," one woman said.

In Melbourne, protesters clashed with police as tensions boiled over.

The protest rallies have swelled in the past few years, from just a few hundred people in 2015 to thousands this year. Many hope that means public sentiment is changing as well.

"With all our Australians getting together like this, I think it's sending a really clear message that Australians want to have a different conversation about our national day," one man told Yahoo7 News.

It's a view not everyone shares - including One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson.

"Changing the date is not going to change a damn thing," she says. "I'm totally opposed to it."


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