|(photo from the net about Australians of the year 2013)|
This date has been celebrated since 1808, although only from 1946 was the name changed to Australia Day from the original "Foundation Day", "First landing day" or "Anniversary Day".
In 1938, in New South Wales, large scale celebrations were held which included the re-enactment of the landing of the First Fleet, but the convict status of many of the passengers was not mentioned. Shortly before the celebrations, a group of Aboriginal activists arranged a "Day of Mourning" to campaign for citizenship and equal rights. The Aboriginal people feel the celebrations exclude them and their culture which was thriving for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Fleet.
The original owners of this country - the Aboriginals - and their supporters call this day "Invasion day", and in recent years there has been some pressure to change the date of Australia Day. This movement has lacked support at both Federal and State Government levels, as they consider this day to be a significant day in Australian history.
In 2004 there was a Newspoll asking if Australia Day should be moved to another day not associated with the European settlement, but 79% favoured no change, 15% favoured a change and 6% had no opinion.
This is a public holiday in every state and territory with addresses from the Governor General and Prime Minister.
On the eve of Australia Day, the honours lists of the Order of Australia and Australian of the Year Awards (for those who made an outstanding contribution to their country or community) are announced.
Citizenship ceremonies are also celebrated all over the country, welcoming immigrants who qualified to apply for citizenship.
This year, the Australian of the Year award was given to the great lady of media - Ita Buttrose. She was instrumental in opening door to women in the media industry. She was a former editor of the "Women's Weekly" magazine, and first female editor of an Australian newspapers, The Daily Telegraph.
You can read the linked article to find out more about the other deserving awarded candidates.
Big cities put on beautiful firework displays, sports events, people get together with friends for a picnic in the parks.
The soundtrack of the Skyworks is broadcast at Mix94.5 radio station and a delayed telecast is transmitted on Channel Seven tv at 10.30pm for those that missed the event or would like to watch it again.
|Taken by me from South Perth foreshore in 2011|
One of the fun events of the day is the Havainas Australia Day Thong Challenge - not the "underwear thong", but the "flip-flop" thong.
|(Havainas thong challenge at Cottesloe beach - photo from net)|