Reflect Respect Celebrate – We’re all part of the story

  • 25 March 2020

Reflect Respect Celebrate – We’re all part of the story

The new 2020 Australia Day campaign; developed by the National Australia Day Council in consultation with all State and Territory network partner has proven to be a great success in driving home a new message and setting a new tone for Australia Day.


Independent Research commissioned by the National Australia Day Council was conducted in early February with more than 1,100 Australians 15 years and over and confirmed strong support for Australia Day. Support was evenly spread around the country, with capital cities of Perth followed by NSW having the highest level of engagement plus a statistically significant lift in sentiment, across all demographics and states, who support our national day.

Whilst in recent years there has been a lot of noise around the date we celebrate our national day, encouragingly this year, 8 out of 10 Australians believe that its ok to celebrate on Australia Day. Furthermore, three quarters of all surveyed feel very positive about Australia Day with 76 percent agreeing that Australia Day is inclusive for all Australians regardless of background; and that Australia Day brings people together.

New in the research this year was a section that identified and defined drivers for those that were passionate about the day and these included:

  • Getting involved in all aspects of the day
  • Reflection on what it means to be Australian
  • Talking positively about the day with family and friends

The research evidenced that The Story of Us campaign has been the most successful to date since the Australia Day campaigns have been evaluated over the years, largely due to the messaging which encourages reflection and respect but also due to the increase in campaign reach.

The multi-media advertising campaign, which included a television commercial shows people saying that everyone has their views on what it means to be Australian. There is recognition that some parts of our history are harsh and can make us feel raw and that being Australian is special, it’s not always an easy ride. The commercial highlights that at times it is tough going but together we are a resilient bunch who all play a part in our national identity. The commercial closes by saying we all have a story to tell and it urges us to listen to each other.

Morgen Lewis CEO of Auspire – Australia Day Council WA said “Encouragingly, 68% of people who saw the advertisements said it made them feel like it was finally a day for all Australians.”

The campaign is unapologetic in its objective of championing a shift in tone for the day and it was effective in achieving that result based on how different communities around the country acknowledged and celebrated more inclusively. At a recent meeting of representatives from the National Australia Day Council Network, there was strong agreement that this was happening. From Catherine to Barangaroo; Port Phillip to South Perth; Townsville to Adelaide; these just a handful of local government councils that placed emphasis on celebrating the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander culture in equal measure to new citizens being conferred and local community members being recognised for their contribution in Australia Day Awards.

Ms Lewis was a guest on ABC Breakfast radio with Russell Woolf and Nadia Mitsopoulos the day after Australia Day and the talk back regarding the campaign was positive.  When asked about the campaign’s impact, Ms Lewis spoke about the need to do the day better. She said the day has moved away from jingoistic flag draping, casting blame or finger pointing for the crimes of the past. Rather it has matured. People can have permission to own the truth of our history without guilt. Australia Day is now about showing respect for all, reflecting on some of the tougher parts of our history and celebrating a common future we will share, as Australians together.

Local councils around the country are encouraged to take on the theme: Reflect, Respect, Celebrate – We’re all part of the story, for Australia Day activations and activity in 2021 and beyond. Ms Lewis advised that if any need help with that, Auspire, Australia Day Council WA is able to assist.

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