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Forget Australia Day And Celebrate: Rum Rebellion Day Awards

After pointing out for a number of years that January 26th isn’t just the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip’s landing, but it’s also the anniversary of the Rum Rebellion when a group of people launched an insurrection and arrested the Governor. Surely, I’ve argued, this is something that we can all celebrate… with the possible exception of David Hurley, who, thanks to the publicity surrounding Scotty’s secret ministries, more than a dozen people will have heard of.

Yes, I am aware that some people argue that celebrating Australia Day on January 26th has a history going back several Prime Ministers… but then so does Dan Andrews and if I suggested that we have a Dan Andrews Day a lot of people would refuse to participate.

And yes, I am aware that a lot of people say things like who cares about what happened to our First Nations people two hundred years ago, the important thing is what we do now and that means that we need to ensure that there’s practical reconciliation which doesn’t include a Voice to Parliament because one thing about Australia that we should be celebrating is what the British brought to this country in 1788: Freedom and democracy.

Of course, a pendant might point out that what the British brought in 1788 is a lot of people in chains and an unelected governor, so it seems strange that anybody regards that as freedom and democracy but there’s a lot of things that confuse me, like the fact that some Labor supporters are complaining that the ABC are giving Dutton a lot more air time than they ever gave Albanese when he was leader of the opposition. Personally, if I wanted to destroy the Coalition’s chances next election, I’d have Dutton and Littleproud and Joyce on as much as possible.

Anyway, I decided to institute my own Rum Rebellion Awards and last year I gave it to Amy Remekis and Ronni Salt.

This year after careful consideration the winner is: Monique Ryan.

This is not because she ousted Josh Frydenberg from his very own seat of Kooyong. It was his seat and it was the Liberal’s seat. I know this because I heard it so many times in the media. And here we had this interloper stealing the seat, which is almost the same sort of mutiny as the original Rum Rebellion.

However, my award goes to the person who helps promote democracy in Australia and Monique Ryan took action to ensure that anyone who tested positive to Covid after the cut-off for postal votes. still got a chance to vote.

Thanks to this, the AEC backed down and allowed a telephone vote for anyone needing to isolate.

Well done, Monique.

On a side note, I notice that Sky News and various other Murdoch commentators are most upset because K-Mart aren’t selling Australia Day paraphernalia. Apparently nothing says that you respect your flag more than standing on thongs emblazoned with it, wiping the dishes with a flag tea towel or getting your own skid marks on your Aussie flag undies. It upset them so much that they abandoned all their principles on cancel culture and called for a boycott on K-Mart. But I expect that they’ll be back to normal complaining about cancel culture if K-Mart decides to cancel advertising in the Murdoch papers.

Happy Rum Rebellion Day!


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  1. Ken Robinson

    Rum Rebellion Day, now that is something I can celebrate, maybe we could overturn the whole political system and become an independent country making our own decisions that suit this country and its people, I would happily celebrate that.

  2. GL

    ‘straya Day tomorrow and all I can think of is –

  3. Fred

    Ah the good ol’ days. Prior to the “Rum Rebellion” (Rum Corps deposed governor Bligh) of 1808 we had the “Castle Hill Rebellion” in 1804 (Rum Corps crush Irish insurrection). Nice to remember the CH rebellion organisers were hunted down and hung. Others were flogged with a “Cat o’ nine tails”, some receiving 200 to 500 lashes and included death as a result or due to complications. Of course the first nation peoples of the time were simply hunted down and shot. There were no deaths due to the Rum Rebellion.

    Gee, it’s nice to have a day to celebrate the arrival of the British “civilisation” along with their values, governance and justice/legal system. 🙁

  4. Jon Chesterson

    I’d happily celebrate Rum Rebellion Day but I’d much prefer to do so with single malt, as if nothing else it would remind me there is hope still in escaping the shackles, lies and stupidity of Australia Day, what we do, how, when and why we do it! And yes I too noticed how much air time the ABC give to both dotty constable Dutton and moron-head Angus Taylor in opposition, can’t for the life of me understand why.

    PS Can we do this again – Arrest the Governor?

  5. Jon Chesterson


    Yes I agree – all very cringey too.

    Where’s the hope in alcohol, getting pissed and fireworks? Where’s the sense of community, country, all its people and belonging in booze, fireworks and profiteering? Where’s the celebration of togetherness and nationhood on a day that deliberately marks, praises and re-enacts the arrival of the first fleet, colonialism, invasion, dividing its people and selling its lands to the highest bidder, those with money, status and privilege? How is our nation ‘one’, how are we ‘one’ when we are still doing this to our people, our citizens, the homeless, kicking the less fortunate out of their homes, off their land or denying them a decent living? Australia day, day of shame – Terra nullius!

    We are not ‘one’ till we deal with our history, the present, tell the truth and listen to the voice of all who live and belong here, notwithstanding but starting with our first nations’ peoples. Beer, barbecues, flags, anthems and fireworks mean nothing to me on ‘Australia Day’, just a pointless white man’s patriotic piss up and whitewash of history, where he who farts the loudest gets what they want and spends it with their mates. And yes I am a white man, should my gender and the colour of my skin matter?

    Abolish it till we are all willing to work on it, share the burden and the good. 26 January is an insult, and in its current form a multicultural joke, an excuse to bury our heads in a lie, sizzle a cheap tasteless sausage and get pissed to yet another hypocritical beach romp, televised news propaganda populist music fest or mind boggling boring [yawn] wasteful meaningless overstated political firework display. This is not what it means to be Australian and if it is, then we flounder on yet another almighty bitter and unsavoury lie.

    Australia Day – Terra nullius still.

  6. OldWomBat

    I wish we could stop all this crap about “the flag” and being a “patriot”. All the attention focused on these hasn’t done the US any good. How about we focus on people, you know, like when businesses had a Personnel Department, which they replaced with a Human Resources Department that puts people in the same box as pencils, to be used and thrown out when no longer required, oh and that can be shared with anyone.

  7. Michael Taylor

    I didn’t note who designed this alternate flag, but I love it.

  8. Hotspringer

    I don’t think a pendant is in a position to point anything out. Most of them just hang down.

  9. Canguro

    Michael, I’d like to agree with you on the flag design, however, re. the following two points, per my totem, give pause for hesitation:

    (1) Across Australia every year around two million kangaroos slaughtered for pet food, along with half a million joeys left to die without their mothers. Facts that are ignored by most people, but not all.

    (2) The design will remind people of QANTAS… not necessarily a good thing, at least while the leprechaun continues to remain at the helm and the airline continues to have daily flights aborted with mechanical problems along with the other SNAFU’s that seem to have become routine.

  10. Canguro

    Given that today is officially a national holiday that celebrates … what I’m not exactly sure …. a colonisation of an already occupied country, or another example of a westernised social experiment dependent on a raft of ‘laws, rules & regulations, haves & have nots’, underpinned by an adherence to a set of social, economic and political principles that were arbitrarily imposed upon the society at large and largely imposed by a privileged minority upon an unprivileged majority, I post the following Twitter comment as a salient reminder of what can happen in a society such as ours when the supposed societal safety of the democratic linchpin goes badly awry.

  11. Terence Mills


    Just a bit worried about using the image of a kangaroo on the alternative flag ; kangaroos in our society are generally harvested for dog food !

    I note that the state of Oregon has banned the import of products (including leather) harvested from kangaroos.

    I heard this morning that they are trying to re-introduce emus to Tasmania : evidently the native emus were hunted for tucker !

    Have we evolved sufficiently as a species to be able to adopt in good faith the images of other species on our flag ?

  12. Clakka

    Rossleigh, love your award to Monique Ryan.

    But I must digress, and note, on principle, I detest ‘patriotism’

    Had a listen to RN “Soul Search” last night – interview with Dr Anne Pattel-Gray (Bidjari/Kari Kari person of stolen generation, born in Winton), author of ‘The Great White Flood, Racism in Australia.’ Occupied my research and mind for a few hours after.

    Wow! What a mind and what an orator.

    I am not religious’, so to speak, but of course interested in the phenomenon of religion and theology.

    In context, her important discussion on the collaboration of state and church in the brutalising and disenfranchising, of First Nations Australians, the crushing of their culture, language and freedoms, the break-up of their societal structures and obliteration of their families and identities. And the subsequent theft of their lands.

    Despite their (and many other indigenous) ‘creator’ theology being virtually identical to the theology of the religions of ‘the west’ (but without the dogma, oppressions, penalties, brutality and theft), the churches and their emissaries persisted with their ‘divine’ interventions, sanctifying the same processes institutionalised by the greedy, hateful (English) Colonial government, and onwards from there (noting of course, amongst others, Pell’s dissertation per Lucy Hamilton’s article 23Jan2023, ‘Captained by Crusaders’)

    Regarding ‘The Voice’, it is not difficult to observe the mainstream media guilefully pumping up and meddling to perpetrate doubt, division and mistrust in the matter of ‘The Voice’ without any countenancing of the fact of the government’s formal release of ‘further and betters’ early Feb.

    In particularly I note the ‘Nine Entertainment’ (David Crowe et al) along with ‘Resolve Political Monitor’ article spreads of 24Jan 2023, where they ” … asked First Nations people from around Australia: do you support an Indigenous voice to parliament?”, where they showed brief clips of the responses of umpteen First Nations interviewees. A more blatantly divisive process I have not seen in this matter – a process of establishing ‘influencers’. Why not interview those from the vastness of those First Nations folk involved with and in the background of the Makarrata?

    Given the ‘Soul Search’ matters above, and interviews with already established ‘influencers’, and to put an alternate pressure on the (white) ‘establishment’, it would be good to see interview responses from umpteen (particularly Christian) church heads from around the country.

    Would that start a rum rebellion?

  13. Michael Taylor

    A lot of people wouldn’t be eating kangaroo if they knew this:

    Many kangaroos have a particular worm, and if a kangaroo has these particular worms there will always be one in a certain spot near the top of the tail.

    When my Aboriginal friends killed a roo they would always make a small slit in the tail to see if the kangaroo had worms. If a worm was there, then they would not eat that kangaroo, using it for dog food instead.

    They would never eat kangaroo sold at a supermarket or butcher because they were damn sure the “worm test” wasn’t carried out, let alone known about.

    Now the downside: kangaroo meat makes dog’s farts ultra putrid. Though my Aboriginal friends wouldn’t eat a wormy kangaroo, they’d suffer in silence after their dogs turned into extremely unpleasant fart factories.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Terry, our forefathers were thoughtless in their slaughter of native wildlife. Think the Tasmanian Tiger and koalas.

    Facing extinction, some koalas were relocated to Kangaroo Island.

    The eating of emus is an interesting one. To preserve the species, in some Aboriginal nations emu can only be eaten by initiated people.

    I hear it tastes awful. I wasn’t tempted by the emu pie on the menu at the Parachilna Hotel in outback SA.

  15. Michael Taylor

    I take everyone’s objection to the flag on board. I see your points, which are quite valid.

    Nonetheless, it still looks good. 😁

  16. Michael Taylor

    A mate used to provide tour flights over Lake Eyre, and he was based at Marree – a small town of 150 on the Oodnadatta Track.

    Emus up there could only be hunted at certain times of the year. An old Aborigine pointed out to him the message in the stars as to when they could be hunted. The old bloke showed him where a certain group of stars took on the image of an emu running. The stars told them that the emu could be hunted.

    Six months later he pointed to a group of stars which looked like an emu sitting. This corresponded to the breeding season of the emu, and thus could not be hunted.

    Wonderful stuff.

  17. Jon Chesterson

    Love that flag Michael colours included, not seen it before. We need to work on it though, how we treat kangaroos and people; and I agree with OldWombat too, look what HR and QANTAS have got us celebrating, worshipping a corporate culture of lies and hypocrisy – Human Resources, anything but… I call them Military Police for foul smelling organisations, not to mention zombie patriotism eating its own carcass and boy doesn’t America do that well.

    PS Anyone notice the customised adverts on our page for rum, ahhh.. there you have it and all because the article mentioned rum, thank you Google – ‘People’ – we are what eat.

  18. Canguro

    Shaun Micallef’s essay in Meanjin on Australia Daze, well-deserving of a koala stamp.

  19. Florence

    My father, born in 1900, was a farmer for most of his life and would not eat roos for the same reason. Worms. He claimed to survive the depression by eating rabbits and boiled wheat. I never ate rabbit again.

  20. Michael Taylor

    I can’t say I like rabbit either, Florence. Luckily, Kangaroo Island is rabbit-free so we never had it on the menu.

  21. Warren

    My mate said he was going to celebrate Australia day by buying an Oz flag, drink beer and have lamb. I told him that the flag probably comes from China, the brewery that makes his favourite beer is owned by a Japanese company, and his lamb chop is possibly produced on a property owned by a foreign entity. He said he will drink Coopers beer today, or some craft beers.

  22. Phil Pryor

    Our resident canine fartoloigist is one of many to offer points for amused comment; here’s hoping his nausea subsides. The aforesaid and shown flag looks horrible, to me. I’d suggest an outline of (unique) Australia with a southern cross within its outline, in yellow and green to suit by choice or vote, on a white background, and nothing else symbolic. As for the eats, the kangaroo I had long ago was not atractive, so no more in decades. Native inductions had me trying other foods, and Emu tasted like inferior corned beef, crocodile (fed with chicken for a month on farm) tasted like a poor type of…chicken. Some fruits and spices are interesting, different, but a broad acceptance would take time and effort in marketing. But, we all have a view, perhaps, of some value, perhaps, and should listen to all, perhaps, as does the conservative opposition, perhaps. I’m spending the rest of today in intense futility, especially over the Merde Dogs, who should be fed unwanted kangaroo meat. As a belated afterthought, Warren’s mate is one of many who want to feel positive about some life, or achievement, or to express optimism perhaps, but Warren’s points are there, and, who can feel free in a land where King Tampon is still the titular head…others celebrate national days of relief from oppression, intrusion, occupation, exploitation, humiliation, degradation…

  23. Michael Taylor

    If we do change our flag, I can say – without fear of contradiction – that nothing could better than this one.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Wonderful comment from the same fine club.

  25. Phil Pryor

    Who’s a todger tickler??

  26. Max Gross

    “Yes, I am aware that some people argue that celebrating Australia Day on January 26th has a history going back several Prime Ministers… but then so does Dan Andrews and if I suggested that we have a Dan Andrews Day a lot of people would refuse to participate.”


  27. leefe

    Worm issue aside, ‘roo is one of healthiest meats around – high in protein, very low in fat. Tastes marvellous when it’s cooked properly.

    Rabbit was a staple of our childhood. Learned to shoot hunting the little buggers.

    As for the flag, my favourite design is a sort of minimalism – dump the British Blue Ensign, shift the Commonwealth Star up to that corner. Maybe change the colours – The black, red and gold if Australia’s First Nations people agree, or make the Commonwealth Star gold.
    Simple, distinctive.
    Never been a fan of putting animals on flags, for some reason.

  28. Michael Taylor

    My pet hate is having British monarchs on our coins. And banknotes.

    This was, and still is, my favourite:

  29. Michael Taylor

    At the Ozone Hotel in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island we used to play a game called “woolies or wheaties”.

    A $2 note was held up to the ceiling by a broomstick before being released and left to drift to the floor and you’d bet on which side the note would land up; woolies or wheaties. (See photo below).

    You didn’t have to worry about it being illegal, especially given that the local cop was running two-up nights at the footy club.

    Sadly, a tradition was lost forever when the $2 note was replaced by a coin.

  30. leefe


    Yes, I loved that $1 design. We should use it to replace Liz on everything.

  31. Douglas Pritchard

    This is off topic but I can`t help noticing that a nation hell bent on going nuclear, “lost” a radioactive source somewhere in WA. We can narrow down the search to around a 1000km radius.
    And the nuclear subs mean a whole lot of other things slip down the priority chain.
    Heaven preserve us.

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