Australia Day – January 26th

Australia Day is the anniversary of when the first group of British settlers, who were actually prisoners due to petty crimes, landed in Australia in 1788.

Britain’s prisons were overcrowded. They had been sending petty criminals to America until the American Revolution, after which they were no longer accepted there. Australia became the new place to send these prisoners. The first group of convicts to be sent to Australia sailed in what’s known as the First Fleet. It consisted of 11 ships filled with 759 convicts and some marine guards. They landed in Port Jackson, Australia, on January 26th, 1788.

January 26th is a public holiday in Australia, when people celebrate this landmark day.

However, it was later brought to my attention that the date of the holiday is problematic.

Renee wrote to me an important point about this holiday:

“Hi Mama Lisa, A lot of people in Australia actually view ‘Australia Day’ as a day of mourning for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as it signifies the date which the English invaded the continent. There is a big push in Australia for the date to be changed and there are many protest rallies held on this date. Just so you’re aware that not everyone celebrates.”

Andie replied to Renee’s comment:

“I totally agree with Renee’s comment. The actual date of Australia Day (Jan 26) is problematic for many reasons and what it, in fact, commemorates. Prior to the 1930s, the day was in July. I’ve attached a link to a brilliant article on this topic. It’s a real eye-opener!


Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World Australia Page for Traditional Australian Songs.

This article was posted on Thursday, January 26th, 2006 at 12:00 am and is filed under Australia, Australia Day, Countries & Cultures, Holidays Around the World, Mama Lisa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply