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.
On Australia Day we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.
Australia Day is about acknowledging and celebrating the contribution that every Australian makes to our contemporary and dynamic nation. From our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - who have been here for more than 65,000 years - to those who have lived here for generations, to those who have come from all corners of the globe to call our country home.
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.
Australia Day continues to be hugely popular, with 3 in 4 Australians believing it has a bigger meaning beyond being just a day off.
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.
Many different ceremonial aspects can form an Australia Day event including:
- Welcome or Acknowledgement of Country
- Citizenship Ceremonies
- Affirmation Ceremonies
- Australian National Anthem
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.