‘Reflect. Respect. Celebrate.’

AUSTRALIA

Since 1935, the 26th of January has been referred to as Australia Day, which later became a public holiday in 1994. Since then, there has been a variety of ways people view and celebrate this day. Some of this information has been obtained via australiaday.com.au

Understanding Faith would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and the Birpai Nation on whose traditional land our Port Macquarie Office is located. We acknowledge their continuing connections to the land, sea, and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to the elders both past, present, and emerging.

‘Australia Day’ is sometimes referred to as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’, particularly through the eyes of our First Nations People. This is due to the painful past of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history when Captain Arthur Philip first arrived in Australia to claim NSW, which began the colonisation of Australia. This began the painful journey of massacres, loss of land, loss of culture, discrimination, and oppression. In more recent years, there has been constant conversation about moving ‘Australia Day’ to another date, to ensure the typical celebrations are to intentionally celebrate Australia as a unified nation with rich cultural diversity, rather than to celebrate on a day that has caused a deep amount of pain for our First Nations People. Read more here.

Australia Day celebrations have evolved over time and are now a celebration of our country that reflects our nation’s diversity. As stated here, Australia day is a time to recognise the resilience of all Australians and to focus on what we can achieve when we move forward as a community and a unified nation. Australia Day is an opportunity to celebrate our cultural diversity and rich migrant heritage, which is very much part of our unique Australian identity and has helped shape a nation proud of its strong and successful multiculturalism. We all belong, and we all contribute to this nation’s story and achievements.

Each year, there is a large number of ambassadors who participate in Australia Day activities around NSW. Their role as volunteer ambassadors is to be part of the community awards, assist with running events and to mingle with the community present. To view the list of ambassadors, please see this link.

However you choose to spend Australia Day this year, please ensure to reflect, respect and celebrate the past of Australia, and our First Nations People in particular.

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