The debate over whether Australia Day should be moved to a different date has become one of the country’s most divisive political topics.
Actress Pia Whitesell led the celebrity chorus in calling for the date to be shifted from January 26.
The former Home and Away star, 38, shared a photo of a map of Australia featuring Indigenous artworks on Instagram.
‘Always has been, always will be,’ stated the message.
Melissa Leong, a MasterChef judge, also used social media to advocate for a new date.
‘Today is a day for us to raise the voices of people of the First Nations.’ Not to speak for, but to show solidarity with. ‘Listen, learn, and offer,’ wrote the 40-year-old.
‘Always was, Always will be.’
MasterChef judge Melissa Leong also took to social media to campaign for a date change.
‘It’s vital to remember that you shouldn’t seek to First Nations people to explain why today isn’t a day to rejoice.’ ‘Do the job yourself,’ she wrote in the caption.
Abbie Chatfield has also expressed her support for the new date by asking fans to protest around the country.
‘I reside on Kutti land of the Cadigal People,’ wrote former model Jodhi Meares. ‘I acknowledge the traditional guardians of this country, the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander People,’ she added.
‘I respect elders past, present, and emerging. CHANGE THE DATE! #changethedate.’
Meanwhile, Maria Thattil of I’m a Celebrity went on to express her views about the date.
‘It’s a privilege to live on First Nations land – but of all the days to celebrate it, today marks the beginning of trauma, oppression, violence, and genocide.’
‘Today is not a day to rejoice; it is a day to speak up.’
Sam Royce, the partner of Bachelorette star Jarrod Woodgate, has also asked her fans not to celebrate Australia Day.
‘It’s for the Allies.’ Someone who supports empowers, and advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is known as a First Nations Ally. With barely 3% of the population, First Nations people require allies to assist them to change attitudes, behaviors, and policies,’ she wrote at the start of her lengthy piece.
‘Tomorrow is an emotional day of grieving and remembering the survival of elders past and present for Indigenous people.
‘Unfortunately, many of us did not receive a thorough education of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander history, culture, tales, and issues, let alone teachings on how to be a good Ally.’ It is neither the task nor the responsibility of First Nations people to educate us. This is our obligation, and the very least we can do.’
‘So choose to be an Ally tomorrow,’ she continued. Tomorrow is your chance to respect Traditional Owners, whether it’s the first year you won’t be celebrating January 26 or the twentieth year you’ve attended a survival day protest in a row. Arrive on time. Pay attention and take notes. ‘Be a better person.’
Brooke Blurton, a past Indigenous Bachelorette contestant, also posted a selfie to Instagram on Tuesday, seemingly protesting the date.
‘Call all mob. Tomorrow is a big day for us. A day of anxiousness, pain, mourning. Self care is a priority,’ she captioned the selfie.
Jesinta Franklin, the model wife of Aboriginal AFL star Buddy Franklin, has also joined the movement to change Australia Day’s date.
On Tuesday, the 30-year-old mother of two posted to Instagram, informing her 374,000 followers that the national holiday should not be a “day of celebration.”
‘January 26 is a date that marks the beginning of the genocide and killings of the Indigenous population, the expropriation of their ancestral lands, and the banning of their culture,’ the message stated.
She also shared a number of other posts about the Australia Day debate, including a meme that stated, ‘Just a reminder.’ ‘Genocide is not something we celebrate.’
‘There’s no justification for anyone in this country not to know why tomorrow, January 26, is a hurtful day to celebrate “Australia Day,”‘ Jesinta, who represented her country at the 2010 Miss Universe pageant, wrote in a handwritten message.
‘If you are still unaware, I have linked some useful slides [on Instagram] that I hope you take the time to read.’