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Australia Day is the official name for Australia’s national day. It is celebrated every January 26th, which is the anniversary date of the arrival of the First Fleet from Britain to New South Wales in 1788. Australia Day is also referred to as Foundation Day, Anniversary Day, ANA (Australian Natives’ Association) Day, or Survival Day.
See the fact file below for more information on the Australia Day or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Australia Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The history of Australia Day dates back to the arrival of the First Fleet.
- The First Fleet was a fleet of 11 ships sent from England to New Holland by the British Admiralty under the leadership of Captain Arthur Phillip on May 13, 1787.
- The First Fleet worked towards establishing a penal colony at Botany Bay, New South Wales.
- The fleet carried mostly convicts that were exiled from Great Britain.
- The fleet arrived at Botany Bay around January 20, 1788, but they deemed the location unfit for settlement.
- On January 21, Captain Phillip and his team sought a better place and arrived at Port Jackson.
- Captain Phillip named their landing site Sydney Cove after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney.
- The fleet finally settled at Sydney Cove on January 26th, but the formal proclamation of the colony happened on February 7, 1788.
- Governor Phillip raised the Flag of the Great Britain at Sydney Cove on January 26.
- January 26 became an official holiday in 1818 which was the 30th year anniversary of the British settlement in Australia.
- The settlement faced hardships in its first few years on new land.
- The colony suffered from starvation because of the unfamiliar climate and the people’s inexperience in farming.
- By the 19th century, the colony experienced prosperity and the people kept at their newfound patriotism.
- The first records of men celebrating the anniversary of the foundation of the colony was in 1808.
- In 1818, the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales was held.
- In 1818, January 26 was called Foundation Day.
- On January 1, 1901, modern Australia emerged from the British colonies forming the Federation of Australia.
- In 1935, all states and territories in Australia started using the term “Australia Day” for January 26.
- It was in 1994 when January 26 became an official public holiday.
- Australia Day is now both a day of celebration and mourning: celebration of the founding anniversary of the First Fleet and mourning for the Aboriginal people whose land was dispossessed because of the colony.
- In 1992, the first Survival Day concert was held as a celebration of the survival of Aboriginal culture.
- Australia Day is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia.
- Australia Day is the day for Australians to reflect on their identity as a nation as they acknowledge the founding of Australia.
- Approximately 13 million Australians participate in celebrations each year.
- On this day, streets across Australia are filled with Australian flags representing Australian pride.
- Australians also hold various events across the country such as festivals, sports contests, family days, community gatherings, concerts, and fireworks displays.
- Boat races are held in Sydney Harbour.
- Citizenship Ceremonies are also commonly held across the country, and on Australia Day, a lot of people get approved to become Australian citizens.
- The Big Day Out and the Australia Day Live are annual music festivals held around the time of Australia Day.
- Major events such as the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards and announcement of the Australia Day Honours list are held on the eve of Australia Day.
- The Australian of the Year award is presented to an Australian citizen who is considered a role model who has made significant contributions to the Australian community.
- Other subcategories are the Citizen of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year, and Australia’s Local Hero.
- Public nominations for the awards are made months before Australia Day. Anyone can submit a nomination to the Australia Day National Council.
- In 2019, grants will be provided for new activities that build on Australia Day community celebrations.
- In Sydney, a tall ships race, ferry race, flag-raising, regatta, and harbour parade are held.
- In Melbourne, a parade, festival, and car show are held.
- Live music, interactive art, and fireworks can be enjoyed in Brisbane during Australia Day.
- Perth is where the largest annual fireworks celebration is held.
Day of Mourning
- In August 2017, the City of Yarra in Victoria, Australia and the City of Darebin decided that they would not hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26 anymore.
- The said districts will hold events commemorating Aboriginal culture instead of Australia Day.
Australia Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Australia Day across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Australia Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Australia Day which is the official name for Australia’s national day. It is celebrated every January 26th, which is the anniversary date of the arrival of the First Fleet from Britain to New South Wales in 1788. Australia Day is also referred to as Foundation Day, Anniversary Day, ANA (Australian Natives’ Association) Day, or Survival Day.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Australia Day Facts
- States & Territories
- Objects of the Aborigines
- Capital Word Search
- In The Beginning
- Events Across Australia
- Land Down Under
- The Award Goes To…
- National Symbols
- Time To Feast
- Postcard from Aussieland
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Link will appear as Australia Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.