By Angela Haynes
On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.
Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival in 1788 of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip. However, Aboriginal Australians have continued to feel excluded from what has long been a British pioneering settler celebration, symbolised by the raising of the Union Jack and later the Australian flag, which bears the British flag.
Although 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.
Each year on Australia Day, Fairfield City Council residents and their families gather to celebrate locally. This year the event was held at Aquatopia Water Park, Prariewood and what an authentic venue!
For many newly arrived residents it is a very special day. A Citizenship Ceremony takes place, with the singing of the Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair. The City’s Citizen of the Year and other Award recipients are also announced on the day. An Australia Day Ambassador is also nominated for the City. At the ceremony, the Ambassador gives an address about what being an Australian means to them. Daytime events are organised in the City, typically followed in the evening with a fireworks display.