What is Australia Day all about?

An Australian Sunset Flinders Ranges SA

Have you ever read any Australian Christian Fiction?

I know there are heaps of readers out there who have, but many who haven’t. Even Australian readers of Christian Fiction have either not heard about our popular Christian Fiction authors, or they have fallen under the usual idea – if it’s Australian, it can’t be very good. Just in case you accidentally thought that, I need to let you into a little secret. WRONG! There are some outstanding Australasian Christian Fiction authors, and if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to try one, There’s no time like the present.

Anyway, let’s discuss one of our national holidays and what it means. Australia Day.

In the USA, every Fourth of July, the entire country celebrate their Independence Day. It is summer, and from what I’ve seen in the movies, there are picnics and fireworks.  It is a time of fierce patriotism and folks celebrate their country.

Well, if you’re reading this, and you’re from the USA, picture something similar in Australia, except we play cricket, and our flag is red white and blue, includes stars and stripes, but in a different pattern. If you’re from the UK, I’m not sure what your national bank holiday is. I don’t suppose it’s Guy Fawkes Day. I know you have fireworks as well, but it’s a whole lot colder.

Anyway, here Australia Day is January 26th. It is the day that most Australians celebrate Australia, and all things Aussie – Cricket, BBQ lamb, the beach and the Australia Day Citizen of the Year awards. It is also the day that our Indigenous population mark as a day of mourning – and I would be remiss to allow you to think it is all about celebration.

January 26th 1788 was the day that the British First Fleet came ashore and planted a flag, and proclaimed Australia would be a British colony. There is a whole lot of ugly history that was involved with that, including the fact that they didn’t report back to the Crown that there was a population of original inhabitants already here. They claimed it under the rights of Terra Nullius (the land is empty), and progressed to build a colony and society ignoring the Indigenous people. Many sad and unjust things occurred to this ancient population over the next two hundred years, things that are only just being acknowledged and addressed in recent times. But sadly, Australia Day is still a day that represents loss and injustice to the Indigenous population.

Having for many years celebrated Australia Day without any knowledge of this underlying tragic past, I do find myself a bit conflicted. I love this country, and the traditions I, as a privileged white person, enjoyed. And I do love the cricket. But I cannot simply brush over what our First Australians feel about the day.

There! Right in the explanation of Australia Day you see the makings of a gripping plot, addressing some real emotional issues. It will take some time before a non-indigenous writer can represent it properly, because we simply have not understood what it is to be in that place of oppression and injustice, and until we have earned some trust – enough to find out those stories – I at least, do not attempt to represent them. There are some fine indigenous writers, and I look forward to the day when we can band together and tell the sad story from both sides.

So – back to Aussie Christian fiction authors

There are a number who I can recommend.

  • Regency Romance – Carolyn Miller
  • Historical Romance – Amanda Deed, Nola Lorraine, Meredith Resce (That’s me), DJ Blackmore, Carol Preston
  • Contemporary Romance – Andrea Grigg, Narelle Atkins, Jessica Kate, Lisa Renee, Meredith Resce (that’s me again), Carolyn Miller (again).
  • Young Adult – Jenny Glazebrook, Penny Jaye, Adele Jones, Rosanne Hawke
  • Fantasy/Sci-fi – Adam Collings, Lynne Stringer
  • Women’s fiction – Christine Dillon
  • Guy’s fiction – Nick Hawkes, David Rawlings

There’s a good list for you to make a start. Enjoy your reading.