Australia Day


Australia Day
Overexposed^ (Australia Day 2014) - panoramio.jpg
Sydney Harbour on Australia Day, 2014
Also calledAnniversary Day, Foundation Day, Survival Day, Invasion Day
Observed byAustralian citizens, residents and expatriates
TypeNational
SignificanceDate of landing of the First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788
ObservancesFamily gatherings, fireworks, picnics and barbecues; parades; citizenship ceremonies; Australia Day honours; Australian of the Year presentation
Date26 January
FrequencyAnnual

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Observed annually on 26 January, it marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove and raising of the Union Flag by Arthur Phillip following days of exploration of Port Jackson in New South Wales. In present-day Australia, celebrations aim to reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community.[1]

The meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved and been contested over time, and not all states have celebrated the same date as their date of historical significance.[2] The date of 26 January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).[3] Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. On New Year's Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. A national day of unity and celebration was looked for. It was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories adopted use of the term "Australia Day" to mark the date, and not until 1994 that the date was consistently marked by a public holiday on that day by all states and territories.[4] Unofficially or historically, the date has also been variously named Anniversary Day, Foundation Day and ANA Day.[5]

In contemporary Australia, the holiday is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on Australia Day Eve, announcement of the Australia Day Honours list and addresses from the governor-general and prime minister. It is an official public holiday in every state and territory. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, the day is celebrated in large and small communities and cities around the nation. Australia Day has become the biggest annual civic event in Australia.[6]

Indigenous Australian events are now included. However, since at least 1938,[7] the date of Australia Day has also been marked by some Aboriginal Australians and supporters mourning what is seen as the invasion of the land by the British and the start of colonisation, protesting its celebration as a national holiday. Invasion Day, Survival Day, or Day of Mourning is observed by many as a counter-observance on 26 January, with calls for the date to be changed[8][9] or the holiday to be abolished entirely.[10][11] Support for changing the date is a minority position; however, polls indicate some support for changing the date, particularly among Australians under age 30.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

  1. ^ "What does Australia Day mean?". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Conversation was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Australia Day – A History". Victoria State Government. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  4. ^ "History". Australia Day. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  5. ^ Hirst, John (26 January 2008). "Australia Day in question". The Age. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  6. ^ National Australia Day Council Annual Report 2010–11 p. 3
  7. ^ Tippet, Gary (25 January 2009). "90 years apart and bonded by a nation". Melbourne: Australia Day Council of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  8. ^ Marlow, Karina (21 January 2016). "Australia Day, Invasion Day, Survival Day: What's in a name?". NITV. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  9. ^ Gabrielle Chan (26 January 2017). "Most Indigenous Australians want date and name of Australia Day changed, poll finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  10. ^ Flynn, Eugenia (23 January 2018). "Abolish Australia Day – changing the date only seeks to further entrench Australian nationalism". IndigenousX. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  11. ^ Knaus, Christopher; Wahlquist, Calla (26 January 2018). "'Abolish Australia Day': Invasion Day marches draw tens of thousands of protesters". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Ipsos Australia Day Poll Report". Ipsos. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Australia Day Poll" (PDF). January 2021. This poll of 1,038 Australians was commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs. Data for this poll was collected by marketing research firm Dynata between 11-13 December 2020.
  14. ^ Topsfield, Jewel (24 January 2021). "Not going to solve anything: Why some Australians don't want a date change". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  15. ^ "We're changing our minds on Australia Day — and it's happening rapidly". ABC News. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  16. ^ "New Poll: Majority Of Australians Support Australia Day On 26 January". IPA - The Voice For Freedom. 16 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Guardian Essential poll reveals growing support for changing the date of Australia Day". Guardian Australia. 26 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.

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