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Today Extra’s David Campbell on being an ally for the Indigenous community on Australia Day

Today Extra’s David Campbell vows to be the ‘best ally’ he can be for the Indigenous community ahead of Australia Day and admits he was ‘ignorant’ of history

Australia Day is a point of pride for many Australians.

But for David Campbell, he revealed that the meaning of the national public holiday has changed for him after being educated about its meaning for the Indigenous community.

In his column for Stellar on Saturday, the 47-year-old explained that he attended a Survival Day event over a decade ago where he listened to stories from First Nations people about their struggle.

Listening and learning: David Campbell (pictured) is vowing to be the ‘best ally’ he can be for the Indigenous community ahead of Australia Day, in his column for Stellar on Saturday

There he realised that throughout his school years, he had learned nothing about the history of the Indigenous community, beyond the Dreamtime.

His history classes focused more on the achievements and spoils of Captain Cook and the other white people in Australia’s history who followed him. 

‘I went through my life ignorant, lazy about gaining knowledge of the rich history of the country I love,’ he said.

'We can work with Elders': David noted that as a singer performing Advanced Australia Fair at events, he was not aware the lyrics carried a hurtful meaning for Indigenous peoples. He said more can be done to be inclusive of the First Nations in the anthem

‘We can work with Elders’: David noted that as a singer performing Advanced Australia Fair at events, he was not aware the lyrics carried a hurtful meaning for Indigenous peoples. He said more can be done to be inclusive of the First Nations in the anthem

Elsewhere in his piece, David noted that as a singer performing Advanced Australia Fair at big events, he was not aware the lyrics carried a hurtful meaning for Indigenous peoples.

He said that more can be done to be inclusive of the First Nations in the anthem, in addition to the recent replacement of ‘young’ in ‘for we are young and free,’ to ‘for we are one and free.’

‘We can work with Elders and First Nations people to adjust this song, or get another, so it reflects our entire culture dating back 60,000 years,’ he suggested. 

Listening and learning: David said he is continuously learning and listening to stories about the First Nations and the impact of colonisation on their people

Listening and learning: David said he is continuously learning and listening to stories about the First Nations and the impact of colonisation on their people

David said he is continuously learning and listening to stories about the First Nations and the impact of colonisation on their people.

He added that the stolen generations, the blackbirding of Pacific Islanders and high number of incarcerated Indigenous youth are ugly truths that cannot be unlearned. 

The Today Extra host added: ‘I know I’ll continue to do the work, to evolve and grow. To be the best ally I can be for all Australians. To listen and learn.’

The Today Extra host added: 'I know I'll continue to do the work, to evolve and grow. To be the best ally I can be for all Australians'. Pictured right is Today Extra co-host Belinda Russell

The Today Extra host added: ‘I know I’ll continue to do the work, to evolve and grow. To be the best ally I can be for all Australians’. Pictured right is Today Extra co-host Belinda Russell

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