• 2023.02.24
  • Australia Day, a controversial day.
On January 26th of every year Australians celebrate Australia Day.
Why January 26th? Because this date marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first British fleet in 1788 in Sydney Bay which was then called Port Jackson.
It is the date to celebrate independence and national pride, 'being Australian' in every way and shape, multiculturalism, freedom and optimis, but most Aboriginal Australians and even some white activists call Australia Day 'Invasion Day', referring to the decimation of their Aboriginal ancestors which happened when the land was confiscated and therefore the following destruction of their culture which coincided with the arrival of the British.
Nevertheless, in more recent years, many Aboriginal people have started celebrating this holiday as 'Survival Day', giving thanks that their ancestors were not completely decimated by foreign settlers. It is precisely in these days that the heated debate re-emerges on the desire to change the date of this day in respect of the aboriginal populations, who precisely starting from this date were first dispossessed of their native lands and subsequently persecuted and then marginalized. In response to this trend, official celebrations involving Aboriginal peoples are increasingly frequent in Australia, such as the ‘Woggan-ma-gule ceremony’ which has been taking place for some years in Sydney, to honour the past and celebrate the present in a dignified way for everyone.
The Woggan-ma-gule ceremony revolves around a traditional dance performed to gain the favour of the gods of nature in which Aborigines believe in.
In recent years, more and more aboriginal flags are hoisted on Australia Day (and not only) in an attempt to fill the cultural gap present between these two realities in the country and move towards an inclusive culture like the one of ‘neighbouring’ New Zealand where Maori communities are an active part of government agencies and cultural promotion.
There is still a long way to go because Aboriginal people tend to live in remote reservations and the ones living in the city are unfortunately not well integrated into society for a variety of different reasons but hopefully one day their culture will be preserved as heritage.

Luckily Australia Day has also a happy connotation to it because on this day ceremonies for new Australian citizens take place around the country. This is also the day on which the Prime Minister honours recipients of awards such as 'Australian of the Year', for achievements generally attributable to 'significant outstandingly worthy contributions or conduct to the benefit of the Australian community or the nation as a whole' or awards as ‘Australian Hero of the Year.’
This was my best Australia Day in Sydney so far as I had the chance to see the fireworks, go to a BBQ and watch the boat parade…three true Australia Day classics!
At first there was a speech by the Prime Minister and then, at the end of the speech, the atmosphere became very suggestive when the boats began to parade between the Prime Minister's platform and the mainland.
Each boat represented a community residing in Australia: Chinese, Indians, Italians, British, Polynesians and it was a true spectacle.
The parade was accompanied by plays of light over the whole port and music and, immediately after the boat parade, the fireworks were set off. They lasted uninterruptedly for three quarters of an hour and completely met my expectations. The fireworks are set off in all the other main Australian cities at the same time and are a riot of colors and combinations that keep you looking up in awe non-stop.
BBQs and picnics are usually organized at people’s private homes but also on the beach or at public parks. January is Summer Downunder after all…


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

View a list of Alberto Ferrando's

What's New


What's New