Programs & Initiatives

Australia Day

Reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia Day so that every Australian, not matter where their personal story began, feels a sense of belonging.

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On Australia Day we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: the land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.

No matter where each of our personal stories began, we believe 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 also about acknowledging and celebrating 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.

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. And let’s not forget the Citizenship ceremonies, which welcome our newest citizens as Australians, who play an important role in our national identity and who will share our common future.

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.