Australia Day facts
AUSTRALIA Day is normally filled with music, backyard cricket, waterslides or swimming pools, the Australian flag on togs, towels and fake tattoos, a barbecue and loads of lamingtons.
However, it is important to remember why the national public holiday is celebrated and the significance of the date, January 26.
Even though Captain James Cook raised the Union Jack for Great Britain in 1770, it was 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain arrived at Sydney Cove on January 26.
Foundation Day or the First Landing Day, was celebrated as a public holiday in New South Wales until 1888 when all the colonies joined in with celebrations prior to federation of Australia in 1901.
In 1930, Foundation Day was renamed Australia Day and became a national public holiday.
In the following 30 years, January 26 became the public holiday, the Nationality and Citizen Act was created for people to gain Australian citizenships and the first Australian of the Year was appointed - Sir Macfarlane Burnet, a medical scientist.
Young Australian of the Year followed in 1979, Senior Australian of the Year in 1999 and Australia’s Local Hero in 2003.
During the past 224 years the importance of celebrating Australia Day has changed from acknowledging when the first fleets landed in Australia to encouraging national pride and unity for all Australians.
Historical moment: Picture of the tall ships of the First Fleet at anchor just inside Sydney Harbour, NSW, in 1788