Skip to main content

This is Australia Day (26th January)

John was born and raised in Australia. Subsequently, he is interested in all things Australian: language, sport and culture.

this-is-australia-day

Australia Day Debate Still Rages in 2021

One of the biggest news stories (or so the media like to have us think) is the former tennis great Margaret Court's promotion to the highest level of the Order of Australia, as part of this years Australia Day Awards coming under fire from two state premiers and LGBT groups concerned about her past criticisms of same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described Australia Day as "a chance for Australians from all walks of life, from all backgrounds” to join together to celebrate how far the country has come."

He said it was important to be honest about Australia’s past “failings” while also still being able to recognise its achievements.

While the idea of every Australian joining together on January 26 to celebrate might be Mr Morrison’s goal, experts say it is not the reality and it is unlikely to ever be achieved.

January 26, 1788, was the day the British First Fleet of convict ships arrived at Sydney Cove and founded the colony of NSW.

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the anniversary of this day is not one to celebrate as it marks the start of the dispossession and marginalisation of Indigenous Australians. Many actually call it "Invasion Day."

Reconciliation Australia, says, many Aboriginal people wish to celebrate Australian values and freedoms but feel they can’t do that on January 26.

“The historical events of January 26 mean that many Australians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – perceive it as a date that marks the commencement of a long history of violence and trauma."

This is the basis of the ongoing argument for changing the date of Australia Day to one all Australians can celebrate. (Source: news.com.au)

this-is-australia-day

My Australia Day 2015

Today, 26th January was 'Australia Day' and a public holiday for all Australians. To celebrate this occasion my wife Kathy and I were invited to a BBQ hosted by the local QCWA (Queensland Country Women's Association) and held in a quiet bush setting at the home of some close friends.

Despite impending storms (which fortunately held off until we had finished lunch) and thunder threatening, we had a great day of good food and company in true "Aussie" tradition (informal, relaxed, and outdoors).

We actually cheated this year and had two Australia Day celebrations. Yesterday, Sunday 25th January we spent the day, and had another BBQ (Aussie's just love them) at our son's house. A nephew and his family that we hadn't seen for over two years contacted us to say they were passing through town and wished to catch up. We arranged to meet at Jared's for a BBQ and celebrate an early Australia Day. A day of fasting may be called for tomorrow to recover from an abundance of food.

While most Australians embrace a holiday and love to celebrate Australia Day in a variety of ways but generally relaxing with family and friends, good food and a few drinks, there is a lot more behind the day than that. I hope the rest of this hub may give you a little more insight.

this-is-australia-day

How It Came To Be

On 26th January 1788 British sovereignty was proclaimed over the eastern seaboard of Australia (at the time known as New Holland)when the British flag was raised at Port Jackson, New South Wales by Governor Arthur Phillip of the First Fleet.

Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26th January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. On New Years Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation, marking the birth of modern Australia.

It was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories agreed on a national day of unity and adopted use of the term "Australia Day" to mark the date. Then not until 1994 was a nationwide public holiday declared on 26th January. unless it falls on a weekend in which case the following Monday becomes a public holiday instead.

Scroll to Continue