CAN anyone seriously explain the purpose of Monday's public holiday?
While some might argue there is no more Australian way of celebrating Australia Day than taking a day off work, there is nothing special about January 27.
And, the reality is, the vast majority of us will be doing nothing special on January 27 to celebrate our nation.
The January 27 public holiday is a result of Australia Day falling on a Sunday this year, but that seems hardly a good enough reason.
The gazettal of the public holiday Monday ensures a welcome long weekend, but not even that seems enough to justify it.
If Australia Day falls on a Tuesday - as will be the case next year - then that is when we get a public holiday (as is appropriate) and so there will be no long weekend. So why make it any different this year?
The many among us who wanted to celebrate Australia Day had the opportunity to do so on Sunday. So what's left to do on Monday?
Will we be contemplating what it means to be Australian? Will we be taking time to be grateful for our good fortune of having been born here or given the opportunity to migrate here?
Possibly, but we could equally have done that on Sunday - when it was actually Australia Day.
And if we are happy to take an Australia Day public holiday on January 27, then can there really be a strong argument against choosing a new day altogether for us to celebrate Australia Day?
Read also: Why we have 1000 reasons to celebrate Megan
Every year the case for moving Australia Day to a less politically-charged date seems to gaining momentum and it has become one of those issues that will likely only be resolved when a new date is chosen.
The indigenous community's pleas cannot be ignored forever and gazetting a public holiday on any day other than January 26 does nothing to bolster the case that Australians feel some deep and irrepressible connection to that date.
While settling on a date that better reflects the wishes of all Australians will be another debate for another day, it might be time for us to start considering that option in earnest. And what better time to do so than on a public holiday Monday?