Today, we are now one month on from Australia Day, which means in eleven months time we’ll be returning to the controversy that surrounds the public holiday. So here are some facts about Australia Day.
The British first landed on the soil of what we know today as Australia on the 26th of January 1788. It wasn’t until 29 years later in 1817 that the British Colonial Office put forward that New Holland should be called Australia.
36 years after the first fleet’s arrival, the continent that the native inhabitants had lived upon for many thousands of years, would officially be known as Australia.
Then 112 years after the British landed, or let’s be honest invaded, Australia became a nation and not just six British colonies.
This happened on the 1st of January 1901. There was no Australia Day until 1915, which was held to help raise funds for the World War 1, war effort. And the date… July 30.
“Australia Day” was not commemorated as a national holiday until 1994.
So for all those who don’t understand why anyone would want to change the date of January 26 for Australia Day, despite the hurt it brings to Indigenous Australian’s, my response would be that you simply don’t understand history.
The First Fleet landing on the 26th of January 1788 is not a date we should be celebrating Australia Day on. The country wasn’t even called Australia at this point.
The true date for Australia Day should be the 1st of January because on that day in 1901, Australia became a nation.
It would seem in the 120 years that have passed, we’ve learnt very little and are still as ignorant as this nation was in its infancy.