26 January 2014 - AUSTRALIA DAY


G'day folks,

Welcome to what we call Australia Day. It's the day this extraordinary land mass, the driest continent on earth, was settled by white people - 26th of January 1788. For those of you who do not know much about this country, or have never visited us, here is some historical information about this day.

Since the initial years of white settlement, Australians have celebrated a national day. In the process, they have also defined what it means to be Australian. January 26 has traditionally marked the landing of Captain Arthur Phillip at Port Jackson in present-day Sydney, thereby claiming Australia for the British Empire. Early settlers, perhaps naturally, marked the anniversary of the colony's establishment. Australia Day has consequently evolved from a small commemorative New South Wales holiday into a major national celebration. 

Though it has often been criticised, it has nevertheless emerged as the most inclusive celebration of a national day in Australia, expressing the national diversity which has become such an important part of the Australian national character. Whereas once it celebrated the staunchly British nature of Australian society (or was disparaged for this approach), it now embraces multicultural Australia, including all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints. Australia Day today is a celebration of diversity and tolerance in Australian society.

Captain Arthur Phillip unfurls the British flag at Sydney Cove and proclaims British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia
First recorded celebrations on 26 January
Governor Macquarie recommends the adoption of the name Australia for the entire continent, replacing New Holland
Governor Macquarie holds the first official celebrations on 26 January, marking thirty years of white settlement
First Anniversary Regatta held on Sydney Harbour. This is now the Australia Day Regatta, the oldest continuous sailing regatta in the world
Celebrations held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Phillip's landing and the commencement of the traditional Australia Day public holiday in New South Wales
Australian Natives Association formed. Instrumental in supporting issues such as Federation, the naming of our national day as Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies following WWI
Centenary celebrations for Anniversary Day across the nation Centennial Park permanently reserved for public use
January 1, Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia
Australia Day adopted in Victoria 


Australia Day adopted in NSW only to be reversed to Anniversary Day by the incoming state government
Commonwealth Government and all States and Territories except NSW adopt Australia Day as the official title for our national day
150th Anniversary celebrations across the nation
All States and Territories celebrate the 26 January as Australia Day
Separate Australian citizenship became law for the first time Citizenship ceremonies began to become part of Australia Day celebrations
The first Australian of the Year award was presented to Sir Macfarlane Burnet.

Lionel Rose became the first Aboriginal Australian of the Year
An Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on 26 January on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra.
National Australia Day Council formed, later incorporated in 1990

Australia Day Council of NSW formed, initially operating as part of the NSW Bicentennial Council 

Australians ceased to be 'British subjects'.
'Advance Australia Fair' replaced 'God Save the Queen' as the national anthem

Bicentennial celebrations and for the first time a united public holiday on the 26 January. 

The Tall Ships arrived in Sydney Harbour and a re-enactment of the First Fleet landing was staged. The largest Aboriginal protest march in history occurred on 26 January and Australia Day was labelled by Indigenous Australians as 'Invasion Day'

Inaugural Survival concert held at La Perouse, now an annual event

All States and Territories begin to celebrate Australia Day on the actual day - the 26 January - for the first time

Over 6.5 million Australians celebrate Australia Day nationally 

The first Aboriginal woman to be awarded the Order of Australia (1976) and recipient of the Australian of the Year award in 1984, Lowitja O'Donoghue, delivered the Australia Day address and called for reconciliation between white and Indigenous Australians.

Centenary of Federation celebrated. Though the date of Federation was 1 January, many communities combined Australia Day and Centenary of Federation celebrations.

Over 7 million people celebrate Australia Day nationally. 

7.5 million people attend Australia Day ceremonies nationally.
Presentation of Australia Day awards became centralised in Canberra after being held in various State capital cities.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, delivered an official apology to indigenous Australians for past injustices. 

Australia Day went online with a Facebook site managed by the Australia Day Council of NSW inviting citizens to post comments, photos, videos and details of local Australia Day events. 

www.aussievault.com.au was launched as an online repository and archive of 'Australian identify and culture' including photos and short films produced by Australians to tell their story of Australia.

Australia Day launched a Twitter account.

Australia Day YouTube channel launched.

Clancy's comment: Happy Australia Day everyone. I especially wish the traditional owners a great day too, and thank them for allowing us 'tourists / boat people' to share their country. 

So, for those of you who have never been here, grab a flight on the 'Flying Kangaroo' and hop over to visit us. You'd be most welcome. 

I'm ...

Think about this!

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