Australia Day is celebrated each year on the anniversary of the first fleet from Britain landing in Sydney Cove.
Many Australians consider January 26 with national pride, flying the Australian flag from businesses, homes, cars and even their babies. They attend festivals, fireworks, community and sporting events or gather for family barbecues at homes, parks or on the beach.
However, there is also a growing movement of people who feel the holiday must change date or theme on account of the terrible impact of colonisation on indigenous people – who called Australia home for tens of thousands of years before European settlers arrived nearly 230 years ago. Some prefer to call this holiday “Invasion Day” as a way of remembering the many that died from various diseases in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The public holiday of Australia Day always occurs on January 26 no matter what day of the week it occurs. Many people become citizens of Australia on Australia Day at Citizenship Ceremonies across the nation.
It is also the day that the Australian Government awards the Order of Australia to selected Australians, which is ‘an Australian society of honour for according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service’.