Opinion

Should we shift our Australia Day?

UNFORTUNATELY Australia Day seems to be as much a time of discord as it is a cause for celebration.

Many of us understand the seething resentment surrounding a day which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788.

Not only were the first inhabitants of our island colonised, they were also overrun by criminals - hardly an auspicious start to the forming of a great nation.

Despicable deeds were done by the "invaders".

Land was stolen, traditional owners were massacred, Aboriginal children were removed from their families, while adults were made to work in menial positions for little pay.

That kind of behaviour was a modus operandi for the colonisers, who had been invaded in their own land countless times. Through these hostilities, they had developed a warlike, domineering way of thinking that had no respect for any indigenous culture they encountered.

We probably should look at shifting Australia Day to another date, so every one of us can feel pride in inhabiting a great country without being reminded of the shackles of our past.

 

Australia's bad backs are no joke

I'M FEELING very bonded with millions of my fellow Australians right now, painful as it is.

With about 25% of the population, I'm on common ground - health wise.

The reason for this extraordinary connection is my ailing back.

Fact is, I could hardly move earlier this week. The degenerating lower back has again let me down in chronic fashion.

The slightest movement is done with an accompaniment of groans, yelps and occasional bad language.

Statistics on bad backs toted up by the University of Sydney are quite staggering.

"On any given day in Australia, one quarter of the population is suffering back pain, and nearly 80% of adult Australians will experience back pain some time during their lives," according to researchers.

I imagine, after such a revelation, that lots of clever people in the Australian health sector are doing their best to prevent the situation from getting any worse.

Particularly now, when children are on their way back to school and out shopping for supplies, spine specialists are hard at work informing youngsters about the right backpack to buy and how it should fit.

A lot of the time, I think it's what they put in the perfectly designed backpack that could be risking their healthy spines.

I've seen kids aged under 10 struggling to carry packs that dwarf them both in size and weight.

If they fell backwards, they'd be like splayed turtles trying to right themselves.

Inflicting such a burden on our little ones can't be sensible.

As one who has endured debilitating back pain "in spasms" for more than three years, I wish I'd known when I was younger what the physiotherapist taught me after an especially bad back attack.

Bend your knees when lifting something heavy; keep your spine straight - don't twist it; don't spend 20-plus years working at a computer without frequent walk-breaks...

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Eat well, stop smoking and exercise daily.

Chill out - stress can actually increase the risk of back pain.

I could have added a bit of my own advice: don't make the silly mistake of attempting to learn to ski in your mid-40s when you've led a largely sedentary existence until then.

The very wide splits I accomplished on the ski slope at Thredbo must have set some kind of record, but left me crawling on all fours the next day.

Anyone with a "bad back" can be the butt of cynicism and mirth.

It's long been associated with skiving off work.

Back pain is the leading cause of work loss days with 25% of sufferers in the 18 to 44 age group taking 10 or more days off a year, according to Sydney Medical School researchers.

As long as it's a genuine affliction, then it's no fun, so let's show some sympathy.

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder says lower back pain and osteoarthritis are now ranked second only to cancer as the leading cause of disease burden in Australasia.

"With ageing populations, it is highly likely this burden will increase," she said.

"Research is urgently needed to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies."

For me, it's far too late for prevention. I can't go "back".

I've heard acupuncture works wonders.

Topics:  australia day, editors picks, opinion, yvonne gardiner




URGENT: Why you must update your iPhone iOS settings now

Apple is urging iPhone and iPad users to do an urgent update of their software for security reasons.

Hackers have found a way to break into every iPhone in the world.

Shonky shed fines now total $250,000

NOBODY HOME: The former Logan house of Paul DeBruin.

Building watchdog hits hard

Man burned in factory incident

A woman has given birth to twins at a Nambour home overnight, with the babies arriving before paramedics could get there.

Paramedics treat man for burns to face and hands

Latest deals and offers

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

Katy Perry: 'I stay normal with therapy'

Katy Perry says she relies on therapy to help her 'stay normal'

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa