Nothing brings Aussies together quite like a long weekend.

Which is why I propose a change to the Australia Day holiday which would please almost everyone.

For years we've heard the arguments for changing the date and how sections of the Indigenous community and the 'woke' amongst us refer to our national holiday as 'Invasion Day'.

Recent polls have been split and most concede the date will eventually change whether they like it or not, which opens up a whole new argument: change it to when?

Protesters participate in the Brisbane 2018 Invasion Day March. Picture: AAP.
Protesters participate in the Brisbane 2018 Invasion Day March. Picture: AAP.


National Sorry Day, held in May, is supposed to foster healing and could be a logical choice for a new holiday, but if you want to bring Aussies together, there's a better option.

How many people do you know who use Australia Day to celebrate the arrival of the First Fleet?

For most, it's a celebration of summer and the lifestyle we cherish here in the lucky country.

Barbecues, the beach, beer, cricket, Triple J's Hottest 100 (before the PC brigade changed it), these are the things most of us have come to know and love about Australia Day.

So how about a subtle change which would appeal to the masses without offending anybody (well, almost anybody).

Make Australia Day a long weekend holiday to be held on the last Monday of January.

This way, the date would change every year and on years when it actually did fall on January 26, the holiday could still stand because it is not the date we are celebrating, it's the holiday itself.

If that is still too much for some to bear, the holiday could revert to a Friday in those years.

Personally, I prefer Monday long weekends because it makes Tuesday at work easier to stomach when you know you're already almost halfway through the week, and it's also a gentle intro back into school with the shortened week.

The economic argument for a long weekend rather than a fixed date which could be held midweek is a no-brainer.

Everyone loves a long weekend - especially the tourism industry, who, let's face it, need all the help they can get.

An Australia Day long weekend would be summer's final fling, a chance to get away for two nights up or down the coast before returning home to get stuck into the work or school year ahead.

Cash Comiskey and his twin sisters, Chloe and Cienna, get ready for this year’s Lamington Eating Competition at the Sandstone Point Hotel on Australia Day. Picture: Lachie Millard.
Cash Comiskey and his twin sisters, Chloe and Cienna, get ready for this year’s Lamington Eating Competition at the Sandstone Point Hotel on Australia Day. Picture: Lachie Millard.

Midweek holidays don't have the same spending power (despite those among us who make their own unofficial long weekend courtesy of a sickie or two).

Last year, the Queensland government's decision to switch the Ekka show holiday from a Wednesday to a Friday was a masterstroke, delivering the stricken tourism industry a massive boost which had a significant impact on spending figures for the entire September quarter.

And in these times, anything that stimulates the economy and gives us a chance to get away should be cause for celebration.

I think we can all agree on that.

Originally published as The perfect date for a new Australia Day


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