Happy Australia Day! Everything You Need To Know

by Ramya Velury · January 26, 2012

Australia Day is an Australian national holiday that commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. Similar to the American Fourth of July, Australians celebrate this holiday with picnics, fireworks, etc, focused around Hyde Park. See all things Australia Day after the jump.

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Whether Australians celebrated the holiday on water or land, the day's festivities begin by the Woggan-ma-gule Morning Ceremony, performed in the sacred land of the Indigenous Gadigal people, the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Australia Day Events

Throughout the day's celebrations, various official events take place, such as the presentation of the Australian of the Year Award, the announcement of the Honours List for the Order of Australia and addresses from the Governor-General and Prime Minister.

Australia Day Address

One of the most important events taking place is the Australia Day Address. Prominent Australians address this speech each year, providing their experiences, opinions, and stories about the significance of Australia Day. This year, the Australia Day Address was given by Associate Professor Charles Teo AM, an internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon. After dedicating 3 months of pro bono work, Charles was awarded by Rotary International, a Paul Harris Fellowship, being a finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year awards in 2003 and 2009, and a Member of the Order of Australia.

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Controversy in Australia Day

The date of Australia Day is a controversial holiday for some Aussies of indigenous heritage, coining alternative names such as Survival Day and Invasion Day. There have been proposals to change the date; however, it has not gained a widespread public support.

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Famous Australians take to Twitter

Australian celebrities and officials like Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, Xbox inventor Larry Hyrb, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have been celebrating this holiday on Twitter.

@mirandakerr tweeted:

"Happy Australia Day! xxx"

@majornelson tweeted:

"Happy Australia Day to all my followers from one of my favorite parts of the world"

@juliagillard tweeted:

"Happy Australia Day! However you're celebrating, I hope you're enjoying it. JG"

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It wouldn't be a holiday without booze!

Australians celebrate in to the wee hours of the night by going to parties held at places like Jupiters.

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