“I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror - The wide brown land for me!“

My Country Dorothy Mackellar 1908.

Like its ever changing landscape, Australia is a nation that is rich in diversity and culture. Australia Day has come to mean many different things. From painful reminders of the injustices faced by Indigenous Australians to joyful demonstrations of national pride, Australians observe January 26th in many different ways. We asked some Aussies what Australia Day means to them.

 


 

Aliya, Accountant, 31
Theodore, ACT

 

What does Australia Day mean to you?

Australia Day is a very special day for me. As I am a migrant I'm very grateful to the Australian Government for giving me an opportunity to settle in such a wonderful country. This is a day of celebration to remind me how lucky I am to live in this country and be an Australian.

What’s your favourite thing about Australia Day?

I like how Australians make this day special by displaying a flag on cars, painting flags on their faces and are just very happy for being Australian. It's a great feeling to be among people who are proud of their country.

Do you have any Australia Day traditions?

I like to go to the beach if it's nice weather and have some traditional Aussie food like a barbeque.

What’s the best thing about living in Australia?

There are so many great things about Australia - beautiful beaches and landscape, nice weather, great people etc. However, one of the great things is that Australia provides equal opportunities for everyone (either Australians or migrants) and no one discriminates against race, gender or religion. It's a free and fair country where everyone can have a chance to build a happy life.

     

 

Peter, Small Business Owner, 68
Tamworth, NSW

 

What does Australia Day mean to you?

Meat pies, lamingtons and cold drinks

What’s your favourite thing about Australia Day?

Meat pies, lamingtons, cold drinks and time with the grandkids

Do you have any Australia Day traditions?

Enjoying the Country Music Festival and Australia Day celebrations.

What’s the best thing about living in Australia?

The freedom we have and the comforts afforded to us regardless of our economic status.

     

 


 

Shelley, School Learning Support Office (SLSO) - 41
Lake Macquarie, NSW

 

What does Australia Day mean to you?

A day for all Australians from all cultures to come together and celebrate being Australian. From an Indigenous point of view, I call it Survival Day (not Invasion Day). Our culture has survived and it’s great to celebrate this with all Australians, not just from one culture but every culture because that’s what makes our nation what it is today.

What’s your favourite thing about Australia Day?

Getting together with friends and family, having a good time.

Do you have any Australia Day traditions?

Always a barbie on Australia Day- a good old fashioned Aussie bbq!

What’s the best thing about living in Australia?

I love Australia. I love the landscape, I love the people, I love the fact we have such unique animals. It’s just a beautiful country to live in. My son (6) said what he loves about living in Australia is being different from the rest of the world.

     

 

Harvey, Student - 6
Hobart, Tasmania

 

What do you think Australia Day is?

A celebration. Because we live in Australia.

What will you be doing on Australia Day?

I get to play in my treehouse!