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Australia Day

 

Australia Day, 26 January, is the day to reflect on what
it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary
Australia and to acknowledge our history.

Australia Day is our largest national day of celebration with over 65 per cent of Australians acknowledging, recognising or celebrating the day in 2016. It is a day to appreciate how we all contribute to the Australian community.

On Australia Day, we come together as a nation to reflect on our past, celebrate the present, and look confidently to our future.

Australia Day is a day driven by communities – we often say that Local Government and Councils such as yours are the ‘arms and legs’ of Australia Day events and activities. Over 100 local community celebrations take place on 26 January across South Australia, and over 780 nationwide. These events generate immense community spirit and celebrate enduring Australian values.

The aim of the Australia Day Council of South Australia is to inspire national pride and spirit to enrich the life of all Australians. We work with and for, the community to unite the people of South Australia, to celebrate excellence in our communities and to debate and discuss our national identity. We do this through a number of ways including recognition programs, which highlight outstanding Australians, and events aimed at showcasing culture or debating national identity. We are proud to be a part of our multicultural nation and on Australia Day we come together to celebrate our rich diversity.

Australia Day means something to everyone, and it is important that we all participate in a way that is right for us, and that we respect different views.

Australia Day is about celebrating what we have become as a nation, now how we started as one, and in acknowledging our indigenous communities and their welcoming nature, this is exactly what the team strives to deliver at the Australia Day Council of South Australia.

In January 2017, research was undertaken by Review Partners Pty Ltd, in association with Survey Sampling International, into “The attitudes towards Australia Day 2017 and the future of Australia Day, the flag and the Republic”. Please note the following research is publicly available, and not endorsed by the Australia Day Council of South Australia. 

  • 72% of Australians thought that Australia Day was important to them as Australia’s National Day.
  • 16% of Australians think the date on which Australia Day is held should be changed and 24% didn’t really care what date Australia Day is held.
  • 92% of Australians thought that on Australia Day we should remember how far we have come as a diverse nation which now accepts people regardless of their origins.

The Australia Day Council of South Australia does not set the date for Australia Day – that is a Federal decision. We respect the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who consider it a day of mourning, or those who see it is as a day to mark the survival of Australia’s ongoing traditions and cultures – the longest continuing culture on the planet. We encourage constructive dialogue about the significance of the date for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - acknowledging history is a key part of reconciliation. However people choose to commemorate, or celebrate being Australian on Australia Day, the Australia Day Council of SA encourages all Australians to do so in an inclusive and respectful manner that creates unity.

Four in five Australians see Australia Day as more meaningful than just a day off. It’s a day to reflect on and celebrate all the things we love about Australia: our people, the land, diversity, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy and the freedoms we all enjoy.

More than half of all Australians participate in Australia Day attending events organised by State Governments, local councils, community groups or getting together with family and friends.  In addition, over 16,000 new Australians become citizens on Australia Day.

Events

More than half of all Australians participate in Australia Day attending events organised by State Governments, local councils, community groups or getting together with family and friends.  In addition, over 16,000 new Australians become citizens on Australia Day.

See our Events page for more information

Awards

Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through various awards for Australia Day, and awards that are associated with Australia Day

See our Awards page for more information

History

The marking of 26 January is an important date in Australia’s history and has changed over time: starting as a celebration for emancipated convicts and evolving into what is now a celebration of Australia that reflects the nation’s diverse people.

The date has long been a difficult symbol for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who see it as a day of sorrow and mourning.

Read about the history of Australia Day

 Where can I celebrate Australia Day with Aboriginal people? 

In South Australia, Survival Day is an important event when the community gathers to celebrate the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Read more 

 

 

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