John Shearer from the Aboriginal Men's Group doesn't want the date of Australia Day to change because he feels the past should be left in the past and we should focus on the present.
John Shearer from the Aboriginal Men's Group doesn't want the date of Australia Day to change because he feels the past should be left in the past and we should focus on the present. Caitlan Charles

'Celebrate the country we are today'

"IT'S BEEN going on for generations, that hatred and that abuse. I made a personal decision to be loving, no hate, hate doesn't get us anywhere."

For many Australians, our national day is a reminder of the horrible atrocities of the past, but for John Shearer, it's an opportunity to live in the moment.

"I see it as a celebration of who we are today and it's very important to; being a mindfulness coach, I teach people to be in the now," he said.

Mr Shearer's grandmother was part of the Stolen Generation, taken from her Aboriginal mother and raised in a white family.

"She was very angry woman, and as a consequence of that, my mother was very angry," he said.

"I was badly abused myself and lucky I had a father who was very patient and peaceful and loving, and I copied his ways and raised my kids like they should be raised - without any abuse.

"It's been going on for generations, that hatred and that abuse and everything else. Well, I made a personal decision to be loving, no hate, hate doesn't get us anywhere."

Mr Shearer, who lives his life mindfully, said it's important to live in the now and not let the past or the future cloud what is going on in the present moment.

"Australia Day is about now, and what Australia is now, and we celebrate it, the diversity and all the good things that Australia is," he said.

"There has been a push to change the date, I don't agree with that.

"January 26 is in the summer and we love a sunburnt country, and it's towards the end of the school holidays, it gets our kids full of Aussie spirit starting the new year.

"If we change it, we will still have those people who hate Australia Day because of our past.

" They will still hate it, nothing will change," he said.

Mr Shearer said the debate about changing the date could be easier to solve if people were on the same wavelength, particularly those who speak out negatively against anti-Australia Day ideologies.

"What other people say and do is where they are coming from, and people who come up with negativity, if we teach ourselves to look beyond that and sometimes we can get insights - why are they saying that," he said.

Mr Shearer will celebrate Australia Day behind the barbecue at the Grafton Showground Barn to help Loving Life FM with their Australia Day concert.



Woorabinda's young book lovers enjoy literary boost

premium_icon Woorabinda's young book lovers enjoy literary boost

$10k donated towards CQ school for over 550 new books

Many hands make light work for retirement village residents

premium_icon Many hands make light work for retirement village residents

CQ businesses come to the aid of Settlers Rockhampton

Rocky fighters ready to rumble at Callaghan Park

premium_icon Rocky fighters ready to rumble at Callaghan Park

Fists and feet set to fly at action-packed fight night on Saturday

Local Partners