January 26th is Australia Day. A day to commemorate the “founding” of Australia.
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.
Australia Day continues to be hugely popular, with 3 in 4 Australians believing it has a bigger meaning beyond being just a day off.
More than half of all Australians participate in Australia Day attending events organised by State Governments, local councils, community groups or getting together with family and friends. In addition, over 16,000 new Australians become citizens on Australia Day.
On Australia Day we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.
In my part of Australia January 26th is hugely popular. What better way to enjoy this public holiday than to spend it down at the beach. With thousands of others…Across in the distance, on the Burleigh hill, more crowds have gathered, groups taking advantage of the shade under every tree.Even looking north, towards Surfers Paradise, there are far more people than usual.It is hot, the sun is shining and the ocean is as warm as bath-water.
Everywhere the Aussie flag is flapping proudly in the slight breeze. I think this group have gone for a swim. But for one of their mates it is all too much and he has dozed off. Can you see him?
But this lot are enjoying the company of their friends, having a beer and waiting for the BBQ to cook.
As I walked by the different groups, music of all sorts drifted out from their Ipad, tablets and phones. I don’t think many were using the old-fashioned radio. Many were keeping up with the one day cricket commentary. Some were playing games of cricket.
It is a time for families of all nationalities to get together in the shade of the Pandanus and Norfolk Pine trees.
Jack bikes down to the beach every day for a swim. The best way is to bike as the parking is limited and very hard to find a spare space. I came with him today to soak in the atmosphere of this day. As he swam I walked along enjoying people watching
The Aussie is renowned for being inventive and I had to smile as I spotted this unique mode of transport.The girls were flocking to it for free rides along the beach front. What a “chick magnet”Hold tight everyone. This looks to be fun.
But there is a darker side to this day. The Aboriginals do not celebrate, as they call it “invasion day”. And there is a growing movement to have the date changed. I can understand their anger as the Aboriginal people had been here for thousands of years and Australia Day does not recognise the indigenous people in any way of form. But this is such a joyful day of celebration for what this nation is. Surely another day could be formed to recognise the Aboriginal culture.
This is the other side of Australia Day