Celebrate the real Australia Day

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The celebration of January 26th as Australia Day is ludicrous. It was simply the day in 1788 that the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip landed in Port Jackson, where he proclaimed the eastern seaboard of the continent a British colony called New Holland (later New South Wales).

Other colonies followed: Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1825, the Swan River Colony (Western Australia) in 1828, and separate colonies were later carved from parts of New South Wales: South Australia (including the Northern Territory) in 1836, Victoria in 1851, and Queensland in 1859.

There was no nation of Australia until 5 July 1900, when the six colonies united to form a new nation under The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (UK). 

26 January has no more relevance to the founding of Australia than the dates of settlement of any of the other participant colonies. Whether people wish to call it First Fleet Day, Port Jackson Day, Invasion Day, Survival Day or anything else is another question entirely, but to celebrate it as Australia Day shows a profound and widespread ignorance of our history.

 Canada, a country with a similar history of disparate colonies uniting to become a nation, celebrates Canada Day on July 1, when their British North America Act, 1867, united the colonies to become Canada. 

 America’s national day celebrates July 4, 1776 when the thirteen American colonies declared themselves a new nation, the United States of America.

 We became the Australian nation on July 5. That should be our national day.

 

 

 



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