The 26th of January has been recognised as the official national day of Australia since 1808 with the first official celebration in Sydney in 1818. It was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories adopted the use of the term “Australia Day” to mark the date of the 1788 landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove, and not until 1994 that 26th January was consistently marked by a public holiday on that day by all states and territories.
In contemporary Australia the holiday is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on the Eve of Australia Day. The announcement of the Australia Day Honours list is given by the Prime Minister. On that day all states and territories host festivals, concerts and citizenship celebrations.
From 1938 the date has been marked by indigenous Australians as Invasion Day, Survival Day or Day of Mourning. There are calls for the date to be changed or the holiday to be abolished entirely.
Currently here in Mundaring, the Citizenship Awards are no longer a public affair at the Amphitheatre in the picturesque Sculpture Park, but take place at the Shire Civic Centre instead. This year Mundaring Shire will celebrate 22 residents confirming their citizenship at a ceremony on Australia Day. After the ceremony, celebrations for the recipients will take place and no doubt flags, hats and clothes will be worn with all the WA emblems displayed as well as typical “Aussie” food.
Fireworks at the South Perth Foreshore
Here are some of the WA emblems and their meanings which have been recognised since Federation in1901 and onwards.