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Australia Day

brief history ...

Captain Cook's Endeavour replica entering Sydney Harbour
©2006 Gabriel Ditu
The First Fleet, comprising 11 ships and around 1,350 people arrived at Botany Bay on 18 January 1788. Captain Phillip decided that Botany Bay was not suitable and choose instead Port Jackson as the site for the new colony.

Because the first settlement in Australia was made on the 26 January 1788, the day was declared as the National Day of Australia.

For many Indigenous Australians, 26 January is not a day of celebration but one of mourning and protest. For them, the colonization of Australia led to a complete change of their traditional way of life, to disease, death and dispossession.

Today however, Australia has come a long way and due to the Reconciliation movement, many pains of the past started to fade out.

what's on...

The following is a sample of the activities organized on Australia Day in 2005:

British soldiers - re enactment
©2006 Gabriel Ditu
  • Morning Ceremony - Royal Botanic Garden
  • Woggan-ma-gule Ceremony marks the official start of the Australia Day celebrations. It takes place on the sacred sites of the native Gadigal people: Sydney's traditional landowners.
  • International Wheelchair Race
  • Australia Day in the Park (free entertainment)
  • The Lord Mayor's Citizenship Ceromony
  • Food and Wine Fair and MasterFoods Great Australian BBQ
  • Message Trees
  • NRMA Motorfest
  • NRMA Jazz Stage
  • The Great Tyre Changing Challenge
  • NRMA Advanced Technology Exhibition
  • NRMA Palace Yarns
  • Vintage Bus Service
  • Country Rocks
  • Australia Day Lunch
  • Fire Works

Off course, the events change from one year to another. The above list is intended to give you an idea of what to expect. For up to date information, please check the Australia Day official web site.

Trivia: In which year was Australia Day first celebrated? Answer: 1818.

tourist information ...

How to get there
There isn't a specific place where the festivities are held. Some events are in the Harbour, other at Town Hall, in parks and so on. Please check Australia Day web site.

Contact details:
GPO Box 5341 Sydney NSW 2001
Ph: (02) 9513 2000
Web site: Australia Day

Hours of Operation:
All day long. Please check the Australia Day web site.
24 June
1856 - Queen Victoria makes Norfolk Island a separate settlement from Tasmania to be administered by the Governor of New South Wales.

1953 - British and Australian governments announced Britain was developing atomic weapons and they would be tested in Australia.

1978 - The first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is held to mark International Gay Solidarity Day.
Australian slang
  • session, to have go out drinking
  • lippy lipstick
  • wharfie water front worker
  • scratchy instant lottery ticket
  • matilda sleeping bag
  • surfies people who go surfing and skipping work
  • Ashes cricket trophy
  • rellie family relative
  • ratbag rascal, mild insult
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