Australia Day is the official, yet debated, National Day of Australia.

Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.

I love the way we’re all embraced no matter where we’re from.

The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday is a recent one.

Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date and additionally, not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date.

In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community.

Different places in Australia celebrate the day differently.

For example, Sydney has boat races including a ferry race and the tall ships race, while Adelaide celebrates with a parade, concert, fireworks, and a cricket match.

If you are in Adelaide (2016 ideas), you may wish to enjoy the twilight event being held in Elder Park or the Semaphore Summer carnival. On top of the usual Semaphore attractions, the Semaphore amusement park is full of fun things to do, with the seasonal arrival of carnival rides, sideshows, and the circus! A night at the beach for Australia Day sounds perfect!

If you are in Darwin (2016 ideas), you may enjoy Oz Fusion, a free family-oriented event showcasing and celebrating Darwin’s cultural diversity through an exciting and engaging program of cultural performances, bands and multicultural food. Or, you may wish to join a new breed of caring Aussies looking out for the little guys and enjoying delicious plant-based meals this summer… instead of lamb! They are taking the pledge to be kind to lambs!

No matter your choice of activity, enjoy your day in whichever way, and Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free. We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil, our home is girt by sea. Our land abounds in nature’s gifts, beneath our radiant Southern Cross.

 

AUSTRALIA DAY POEM By Mick Colliss

I love this land Australia in, oh, so many ways

The pristine beaches, clear blue sky and endless sunny days

But most of all I love the people that she calls her own

The lucky ones so fortunate to call Australia home

I love the way we’re all embraced no matter where we’re from.

How ironic.

The link to full poem 6pr.com.au/radio/australia-day-poem-20130125-2db9o no longer works – it has been removed from the website.

So, where will you be on Australia Day? I think I’ll go to the Beach.

 

References for story content:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

http://www.australiaday.org.au/

http://www.australiadayinthecity.com.au/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/australia/australia-day

http://animalsaustralia.org/australia-day

Originally written for Southern Cross Care: southerncrosscare.com.au/news_items/i-love-this-land-australia-in-oh-so-many-ways