Programs & Initiatives

Australia Day 2021

On Australia Day, let's reflect, respect and celebrate. We're all part of the story.

On Australia Day we can celebrate all the things we love about Australia

More than half of all Australians get involved in Australia Day, participating all around the country. From the biggest cities to our smallest, most remote townships, there are thousands of inclusive events and activities taking place. But we also recognise that Australia Day can be hard for some, with some feeling less included than others.

The national campaign for Australia Day is called, We’re all part of the Story and it is based on the fact that all Australians play a part in our national identity.


Australia Day, we urge everyone to take time out to reflect on our history, what impact it had on our first peoples, and pay respect to all those who sacrificed  much along the way to getting to where we are today.

Whether it’s the land, sense of fair go, our lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy and most importantly, the stories of our people.

No matter where each of our personal stories began, Australia Day is when we can all come together and pay tribute to our diversity, promote reconciliation and celebrate our progress as a dynamic, modern society. Australia Day is when we acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that every Australian makes. From our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – who have been here for more than 65,000 years – to those who have lived here for generations and to those who have come more recently to call our country home.

Get Involved this Australia Day

Reflect, respect Australia Day smoking ceremony

Wake up on Australia Day and make your way to Scarborough Beach to pay your respects to Australia’s First peoples by attending the Reflect Respect Smoking Ceremony. This ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians involves smouldering native plants to produce herbal smoke with cleansing properties to establish peace and harmony within community. There will be Yarning circles with elders, song and dance. This is an opportunity to be inspired by over 60,000 years of continuous culture and connection to Wadjuk Noongar country.

Shine the light – The Story of Us

As part of the five day Australia Day Festival within the City of Perth, we will be holding a culturally inclusive public event each night from 22 January to the 26 January called shine the Light – the story of us. This is going to be a wonderful and truly immersive exhibition of light, with projections telling our diverse stories as Australians including a special dreamtime story using water screen projections called Shining the Light – Yarning Together. There will be 2 sessions each night at 7.45pm and 9.00pm. The event is free but tickets are required to ensure we comply with COVIDSafe requirements.

Tickets are mandatory available now. Terms and conditions apply.
See more details here.

All attendees will also need to scan in on the SafeWA app to gain entry. Please download the SafeWA app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Respect, reflect, celebrate. We’re all part of the story


Australia Day and new Citizenship.

Australia Day is now the biggest time of the year when we confer our newest Citizens. All over the country hundreds of Citizenship ceremonies, welcome thousands of our newest citizens as Australians, who all play an important role in our national identity and importantly who will contribute to and share our common future. Get in touch with your local council and check out what they are up to on Australia Day.

If you or your community are organising an event on Australia Day, tell us about it and submit your event using the link below.

History of Australia Day

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. To better understand the origins of Australia Day, here is a timeline which was compiled by historian Dr Elizabeth Kwan.

Buy your Australia Day merchandise here.