Australia Day, January 26, is the biggest day of celebration in the country and is observed as a public holiday in all states and territories. On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. "It's great to be Australian because of our way of life and our traditions: our love of sport, our love of the surf and our love of a fair go."
There are many great things about this country:
The people - The life savers on the beach and the farmers in the bush; the larrikins; our sporting heroes, artists and visionaries; the volunteers who dedicate their lives to others; the spirit of pulling together in hard times and achieving beyond expectation; the eminent Australians from all walks of life, the battlers and the ordinary Australians who are anything but ordinary.
Our land - Fragile yet enduring. Harsh and extreme, lush and bountiful-a continent like no other. Our ancient land offers boundless opportunity, sustains us and makes us who we are.
Our diversity - A nation of difference and unity. People from the city, the country, different nations and backgrounds; we are one people, living together. Through our diverse beliefs and experiences we learn from each other and grow together.
The indigenous cultures - The rich and resilient spirituality; the knowledge, art and history. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are part of Australia's identity and culture.
The Flag of Australia is widely used in celebration of the birth of Modern Australia. Anzac Day, a celebration of Australia's "baptism of fire" as a nation during World War I, all other national holidays Related to Family meetings, parades, citizenship ceremonies, Order of Australia honours, Australian of the Year presented Observances 26 January Date Date of landing of First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788 Significance National, Nationalist Type most Australians in the form of a public holiday Observed by Foundation Day, Anniversary Day, Survival Day, Invasion Day, Day of Mourning (in 1938 & 1970) Also called
Australia Day is a national day and public holiday. For some years the holiday was held on the closest Monday, to provide a long weekend. The national celebrations now occur every year on 26 January. The public holiday occurs on 26 January if it is a weekday, otherwise it occurs on the following Monday.
On 13 May 1787, a fleet of 11 ships, which came to be known as the First Fleet, was sent by the British Admiralty from England to Australia, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay on the coast of New South Wales, which had been explored by Captain James Cook in 1770. The settlement was seen as necessary because of the loss of the colonies in North America. Captain Phillip found Botany Bay unsuitable and with two ships proceeded a short distance northwards to Port Jackson, which he declared "the finest harbour in the world". The site decided upon for the first settlement was at a location where there was a potable stream of water, and some level land, unlike much of the steep and rugged foreshore. By 26 January 1788, the fleet was at anchor in Sydney Cove, the male convicts were unshipped and the flag was raised in the name of King George III.
Australia Day is marked by civic celebrations around the country, including the Order of Australia and Australian of the Year awards for outstanding achievement. Air Force aerial displays are held in some capital cities. In Sydney the ferry race and tall ships race has become tradition, along with a surfing race across the harbour.
Citizenship ceremonies are also held on Australia Day. The Australia Day Achievement Medallion is awarded to citizens based on excellence in both government and non-government organisations. Customarily, the Prime Minister will make an address to the nation.
Fireworks celebrations are held in many towns and cities around the country. The Perth Lotterywest Skyworks display is billed as the largest Australia Day celebration in the country,with more than a third of the city's population (around 500,000 estimated for the 2006 Skyworks) lining the river foreshore for the display.