Google has taken a stance, showing its thoughts on the problematic timing of Australia’s national day by using a painterly artwork of Aboriginal Australians on its homepage.
We’ve become very used to seeing “Google Doodles” on the Google homepage, tied to some sort of event, holiday or celebrating a person of importance. And the more curious of us have probably learned a fair amount too, from clicking on the doodle/Google logo and being informed about some amazing person that existed or something that happened in history we’d never heard of.
Well, visitors to the Google homepage on Australia Day would have been reminded or informed that for Aboriginal Australians 26 January (the start of British colonisation in Australia in 1788) is a date they would rather forget, with their people often referring to it as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day”, according to Al Jazeera.
To many indigenous Australians the date marks the cruel slaughter of Aboriginal people under British rule.
The artwork, called Stolen Dreamtime was created by Canberra High School student Ineka Voigt.
She created it in response to the theme “If I could travel back in time I would…” Voigt created an image of an Aboriginal mother and her two children.
"I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother sits in an ochre desert, dreaming of her children and a life that never was ... all that remains is red sand, tears and the whispers of her stolen dreamtime," Voigt said.
In a blog post on Tuesday by Leticia Lentini, brand and events marketing manager at Google Australia, the company said it was "proud" to have Voigt's piece on the website.
"It's a powerful and beautiful image that is not only a brilliant artwork, but helps bring attention to the critical issue of reconciliation in Australia," the post said.
And in the spirit of taking a stance on something, here’s some advice from a slam poet on the merit of “not being nice”.