Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson in NSW.
The ships travelled from England under the command of Captain Arthur Philips. He raised the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cover to proclaim British Sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).
However, the formal establishment of the Colony of New South Wales occurred on the 7th February 1788, not the 26th January as commonly thought. This is when it was ‘formally’ proclaimed as a Colony and the Arthur Phillips governorship was read out.
The area had previously been explored by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770.
Since at least 1938, this date has been marked by some Indigenous Australians as an invasion of their land. Some groups mourn and protest its celebrations and advocate that the date should be changed.
Many events take place on Australia Day as the country celebrations and reflects on its history and diverse society. Many citizenship and award ceremonies occur, and new members of our Australian community are welcomed.
We hope you enjoy Australia Day!