What is Australia Day and Why is it Also Called Invasion Day

What is Australia Day and Why is it Also Called Invasion Day

The official national day for the people of Australia is known as Australia Day. Australia day is celebrated on 26th January of every year. Australia day is celebrated when the first fleet arrived at the port of Jackson (New South Wales). The First Fleet arrived with their British ships in 1788. On the arrival of the First Fleet captain, Arthur Phillip raised the flag of Great Britain. On the auspicious occasion of Australia day, the people of Australia come together to show their multicultural commitment to society and to show their achievements. Australians gather around on this day to show the bright future of Australia to the whole world. On this day the Australian government gives Australian of the year award. But behind every successful thing, country or person there is always a darker side parallel to it. So in order to understand why this day is celebrated, we need to go into the depths.

The first fleet was the group of 11 ships which was started from port Smouth (England) from 13th may 1787. The captain or the head of the group was Arthur Phillip. The group of ships or the First Fleet was reached to the Botany Bay on 18-20th of January 1788. The First Fleet took almost 250 days to reach on the Botany Bay. In Botany Bay Captain Phillip found that there was some fresh waters but the there was no fertile soil. Then Captain Phillip went to north in the search of clear waters so that they can start a colony. In the search of their colony they reached to port Jackson where they found clear waters. On 26th January 1788 they reached to port Jackson and Captain Arthur Phillip raised their union jack flag. There were 1500 people on those 11 ships and 700 people were criminals and 800 were normal people.

Port Jackson was already occupied by the community called Aboriginal community. They were living there before captain Phillip came on this island. But as Captain Arthur and his fellow member’s colony grew, they started capturing the land of Aboriginal people. Due to the invasion on the lands of Aboriginal people, there was an environment of tension created between the settlers and the aboriginal people. Australia day is the day of protest. On this day Aboriginal people started suffering and they were oppressed by the settlers. Their lands were invaded by the settlers. So Australia day basically means invasion day or the survival day of Aboriginal people because settlers were not doing good with them and they were taking the lands of Aboriginal people.

Australia day is the day when both the Australian flag and the Aboriginal flag raised together on the Sydney Harbor Bridge. On the 30th anniversary of Australia day 1818, the governor of New South Wales declared this day as the holiday for government healthcare employees. After the completion of 50 years of Australia day or foundation day 1838, the government of Australia declared this day as first public holiday. By 1935 every state of Australia celebrated this day by the name of Australia day except New South Wales where it is still known as Anniversary day. From 1994 Australia day was celebrated on 26th January. Aboriginal people feel left out on this day. This day is also known as invasion day and on this day celebration and protest go side by side. On 2013 the Australian flag and aboriginal flag raised together for the first time on the Sydney harbor bridge. In 2019 26th January is coming on Saturday so Australia day will be celebrated on 28th January which is Monday.

Australians have a decision making holiday on this day and they extract time for other things like barbecue, enjoy outdoor concerts and play or watch sports. Different places have different ways to celebrate this day. For example, there is a boat race organized which happens in Sydney which includes ferry race and heightened ship race. Some places have parade, concerts, fireworks and a football match. Some Australian citizenship ceremony happens on this day. This is the type of ceremony which is celebrated to welcome those peoples who have been given access to the citizenship of this country. On this day all the post offices and schools are closed, public transport services do not operate on this day. So Australia day is the day of peace and aggression at the same time and everybody should be proud of being an Australian.