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German Supermarket, Established In Australia 2001, In Trouble For 'Australia Est. 1788' Tees

UnAustralian? Complaints are flooding in to Aldi on social media over Australia Day t-shirts. Source: Aldi.com.au

Discount supermarket Aldi is under pressure to withdraw $5 Australia Day T-shirts that say “Australia EST. 1788”.

Complaints that the shirts are racist led to people targeting @ALDIAustralia on Twitter and calling for them to be withdrawn.

Yesterday, before Fairfax Media broke the story, Aldi responded three times to complaints sent to it on Twitter, apologising for any offense “taken” and telling people they have “passed your feedback on to the team”.

But not everyone agrees:

Pedants could quite rightly argue that that’s technically incorrect, since “Australia” didn’t come into being until Federation in 1901. The British colony of New South Wales was established by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788.

NSW Premier Sir Henry Parkes spent four decades, as far back as 1867, lobbying for the colonies to become a federation, delivering his landmark “Tenterfield Oration” in 1889. He was instrumental in convening the 1891 National Australasian Convention, which set the wheels truly in motion, but Parkes died in 1896, five years before his lifelong dream came to pass.

The Aldi T-shirts, which also feature printed phrases such as “Hot, Young & Aussie”, “Beauty Rich & Rare” and “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!!” are for sale online and remain there today.

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