What is Australia Day?



2017-01-26T15:33:04.703Z
2017-01-26T15:42:56.860Z

Australia Day is a national public holiday marked annually on 26 January. It commemorates the arrival of settlers from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Flag at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788. The public holiday has been observed nationally since 1994.

The choice of date is controversial, particularly among indigenous Australians who consider it an anniversary of invasion. An estimated 750,000 Aborigines were living on the landmass before the arrival of 1,400 Britons. Tens of thousands of indigenous people were killed during colonisation, both deliberately and through disease or starvation.

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