Outrage over kids’ Australia Day lesson

Australians Observe Australia Day Holiday
Independent senator Lidia Thorpe takes part in the Invasion Day march on January 26, 2023 in Melbourne. Picture: Alexi J. Rosenfeld

Childcare centres have been slammed for “politicising classrooms”, with many centres across Australia teaching children to identify January 26 as “Invasion Day”.

A calendar widely distributed by the Aussie Childcare Network has also labelled the day as such, including January 26 among other key dates in the early childcare education year.

Kvetching on his prime-time radio slot on 2GB, Ben Fordham said he believed preschool children were too young to learn about the origins of Australia Day.

“They teach students that Australia is built on stolen land – keep in mind we’re talking about kids in preschool,” he said.

“No doubt these conversations would be coming up at a primary school level, but at a preschool centre … that’s way too young.”

Huge crowds gather outside Victorian Parliament House in Melbourne for the annual Invasion Day rally. Picture: Valeriu Campan

Opposition early childhood education spokesman Angie Bell said she believed “childcare centres really are places for education, not indoctrination”.

“Teaching our children to be proud of our country and love all things is so important,” Ms Bell said.

“We know that our nation is rich in history and culture – and Indigenous Australians, multicultural Australians, they all make up our melting pot that we should be so proud of.

“Use of the term ‘Invasion Day’ really is crossing the line.”

Ms Bell said accused early childhood educators of attempting to “impress their political agendas on children as young as five”.

“This is an ideological agenda that is being thrust upon our five-year-olds,” she said.

Roy Morgan research revealed nearly half of Australians aged between 18-34 believed the day should be referred to as Invasion Day, with as many as 44 per cent supporting the moniker.

More than half of women from the same study also supported changing the date from January 26 to an alternative day.