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About our national day

Australia Day is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit and the best of this country – our mateship, our sense of community and our resilience. We find optimism and hope as we look to the future.

Reflect. Respect. Celebrate.

We reflect on our nation’s past, which began more than 65,000 years ago, and the impact of European settlement on the First Nations Australians. Our national day is a time, above all, for inclusion and respect. It enables us to pause, listen and gain a greater understanding of First Nations Peoples, culture and heritage as we work towards reconciliation.

We aim to respect the contributions of all Australians, and we celebrate our achievements by coming together and connecting with family, friends and the community.

Australia Day is also an opportunity to celebrate our cultural diversity and rich migrant heritage which is very much part of our unique Australian identity.

The NSW Government, together with the Australia Day Council of NSW, is committed to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, elders and peoples about Australia Day activities. Together, we present an inclusive Australia Day program to the people of NSW.

Image caption: Performers from the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe during the Smoking Ceremony, which cleanses the way for new beginnings at the WugulOra Morning Ceremony.

History of Australia Day

Did you know, it wasn't until 1935 that all Australian states and territories used the name 'Australia Day' to mark 26 January. And it wasn't until 1994 that 26 January became a public holiday across the nation.

Learn more on the National Australia Day Council website.