Woke companies tell staff they can work on Australia Day

Telstra and Channel 10 lead a corporate rebellion against celebrating Australia Day, giving staff the option to nominate another day instead.

Woke companies tell staff they can work on Australia Day
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Major corporations including Telstra and Channel 10 have declared they will not celebrate January 26 as a national holiday.

Both organisations have advised staff they can choose to work on Australia Day and nominate another day of leave instead.

Network 10 created headlines earlier this week when they advised that Australia Day was “not a day to celebrate” for Indigenous Australians and staff were therefore free to celebrate the national day on a date of their own choosing.

An email sent to Network 10 editorial staff said: “We aim to create a safe place to work where cultural differences are appreciated, understood and respected. For our First Nations people, we as an organisation acknowledge that January 26 is not a day of celebration. 

"We recognise that there has been a turbulent history, particularly around that date and the recognition of that date being Australia Day. We recognise that January 26 evokes different emotions for our employees across the business, and we are receptive to employees who do not feel comfortable taking this day as a public holiday.”

Meanwhile, a Telstra spokeswoman told the Daily Mail: “Our employees have the choice to work on Australia Day or take leave on another day.”

Other organisations to follow suit include Deloitte, KPMG and EY.

A KPMG spokeswoman said the company’s “cultural leave policy” meant that staff could celebrate Australia Day on a date that was “relevant to their culture” and “beliefs”.

Various local councils around Australia have boycotted Australia Day in recent years, arguing that it does not align with their values. But the move of corporations to boycott the national day is new.

January 26 is celebrated as Australia Day because it was on that day in 1788 that the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove and Governor Arthur Phillip raised a Union Jack flag on Australian soil.

Last week Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ditched a rule made by the Coalition government that forced councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.

Councils are now free to hold citizenship ceremonies on any day in the week beginning January 23.

Merri-bek Council in Melbourne is one of several local governments that has announced it would cease hosting citizenship ceremonies on January 26.

The Council said it would hold a “mourning ceremony” instead.

“The very idea that we celebrate, hold parties and welcome new people to this country on this day is pretty shameful,' Councillor James Conlan told a council meeting earlier this month.

“In a deeply twisted irony... the council asks First Nations elders to conduct their culturally significant Welcome to Country ceremony on a day that signifies their own disposition.”

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