'It's insensitive': Australia Day debate breaks out on I'm A Celebrity

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
I'm A Celebrity's Tom Williams (left) and Dale Thomas have sparked a debate around Australia Day. Photo: Channel 10.

A debate about Australia Day has broken out in an upcoming episode of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! which sees the campers’ opinions on the controversial date laid bare.

Former Great Outdoors host Tom Williams and recently retired AFL player Dale Thomas weigh in on the ‘insensitive’ national holiday in an exclusive clip provided to Yahoo Lifestyle ahead of Thursday night’s episode.

While Myf Warhurst and MAFS’ Ryan Gallagher agree that the date should be changed from January 26 - Ryan suggests May 8 or ‘mate’ - Tom and Dale don’t appear to be quite on the same page.

Tom wants to demand Prime Minister Scott Morrison call a referendum to decide if the change should go ahead but Dale thinks that’s unnecessary.

“It could be a good thing for Scott Morrison to turn around and say, ‘I’ve heard you all, let’s have a referendum,” Tom, a carpenter by trade, proposes.

“Or even, go one further and just say ‘We’re doing it,’” Dale counters.

MAFS' Ryan Gallagher weighed in on the 'Change the Date' discussion. Photo: Channel 10.

Tom quickly agrees with his campmate but anticipates backlash similar to that seen when Uluru was finally closed to climbers following a lengthy appeal by Indigenous Australians.

“Yeah, you’re right, mate 100 per cent... it’ll end up like Uluru, a whole bunch of white people racing up there going ‘It’s my right!’ It’s like... ‘No, it’s not mate,’” he says.

Dale goes on to outline the need for non-Indigenous Australians to understand and acknowledge the extremely traumatic relationship Indigenous peoples have to the annual event, which many refer to as Invasion or Survival Day.

“For too long we haven’t understood this day for what it was, it was insensitive of us to put it here. We still want a day to celebrate our country and everything that’s great with it, so let’s move it,” he says.

I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! airs 7.30 pm Sunday to Thursday on 10.

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