Like any other country, there’s one
special day in a year that the Australian people celebrates
as one nation.
Known by several names, Australia Day, ANA
Day, Anniversary Day, and Foundation Day, this one special
day is celebrated every 26th of January.
Australia Day venerates the
famous First Fleet’s arrival and settlement in what
is now known as Sydney Cove in 1788. During which,
the British flag was hoisted and British sovereignty
Celebrations of Australia Day include parades,
concerts, music festivals, various races and the
international cricket match. Awards are also given
on this day for outstanding members and groups of
the Australian community.
These awards include the
Order of Australia, Australian of the Year (Young
and Senior Australian), and the Australia’s Local
Despite the fun that these festivities bring to all
people, it has also battled controversies over the
Since this special day
commemorates the settlement of the British people
and their first settlement in the land of the
Australia Day had met a lot
of criticisms, especially from Indigenous
The Indigenous people see this
celebration as an insult to the native Aboriginal
culture that was little by little lost from the time
of British colonization.
In the late 1930’s, several protests against this
celebration were held. Some protesters even went as
far as calling Australian Day as Invasion Day.
Less aggressive critics
alternatively called it Survival Day, to at least
underscore the survival of the indigenous people and
their culture despite the colonization.
In 1938, an Aboriginal Day of Mourning was included in the
celebrations; and an Invasion Day commemoration in 1988,
highlighting the loss of Indigenous culture.
Proposals to change the date of celebration of Australia Day
have also been made by several groups.
Suggested dates include the following:
January 1, for the Federation of Australia, which was later
known as Commonwealth Day;
April 25, Anzac Day; May 9,
Opening of the First Federal Parliament; May 27, the 1967
Referendum Anniversary; July 9, Constitution Day; September
1, Wattle Day or the first day of Spring; December 3, Eureka
However, the critics failed to arouse an adequate amount of
sympathy and did not gain considerable support from the
So unto this day, Australia Day is continued
to be celebrated every 26th of January and is officially
declared a public holiday in all Australian states and