Devonport Aboriginal leader slams new Australia Day advert

A new National Australia Day Council TV advertisement celebrating the diversity of the 'Australian Story' has been slammed by a Devonport Indigenous leader for not portraying the reality of life in this country.

"This warm and fuzzy portrayal of Australia isn't reality," said Elder Dave mangenner Gough.

"In the context of what's happening in Australia with off-shore detention and the ongoing inequalities of the minorities - it's not reality.

"It's not an advertisement I support, and I won't support Australia Day until the date is changed to allow the inclusion of the majority of Aboriginal people on a date that they can feel respected and included.

"Not on a date that doesn't recognize and highlight the colonisation and attempted genocide of our people.

"I watched that ad and thought if you saw that and you were from another country you would want to come to Australia. When the real story is a country where we can border on race riots, there are major inequalities, and there are people who are marginalised."

Dave mangenner Gough

Dave mangenner Gough

The ad shows people from different cultural backgrounds, including a number of Indigenous Australians, and acknowledges the 'painful' and 'raw' history of the nation. A NADC spokesman said The Story of Australia campaign "encourages Australians to reflect, respect, and celebrate with other Australians - whoever they are, wherever they come from - because we're all part of the story."

However, Mr mangenner Gough said the ad is the government's idealised version and he called on the government to listen to the nation's marginalised people.

"I think we all would love that (Australia), but the reality is we've got major issues."

"The government should listen and not be putting this ad out telling us about what we should do," Mr mangenner Gough said.

He said watching the ad made him "very disheartened" because of how removed it is.

"It would be lovely to live in the Australia in the ad, but the majority of Aboriginal people don't classify themselves as Australian. If you ask them, they are going to say they are Aboriginal.

"Defining what it means to be Australian is not going to come from a government advertisement. It will come from a government that allows freedoms and equality. It comes from policy changes, and the first one would be to change the date of Australia Day from January 26."

On Australia Day, Mr Gough said he would go camping to get away from the hype or attend the Change the Date Rally on the foreshore in Devonport run by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

The TAC was contacted.

This story New Oz Day TV advert 'not reality' first appeared on The Advocate.