~Celebrated January 26th Each Year~
Australia Day is celebrated January 26th each year, commemorating the arrival
of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788.
NOTE: My friends from Australia were
kind enough to clarify the "correct" date the
holiday is celebrated. While I was doing research for this page it was rather confusing
because there were conflicting dates mentioned. Thank you Peter & Vikki for your help!!!
"Australia day is actually on
the 26th of January,
it was celebrated on the last Monday
in January up until about three years ago, the government then decided it should
be celebrated on the actual day of discovery, so the public holiday is now on the 26th.
If the 26th falls on a weekend a holiday is then declared on the
following Monday (Australians love public holidays)."
Australia Day Information from Compton's Encyclopedia:
"American Revolution dispossessed Great Britain of its American colonies, another remote settlement had to be
found where surplus convicts could be sent. The site chosen was Botany Bay, on the southeastern coast of
Australia, which had been discovered by James Cook in 1770.
A fleet of 11 ships -- with Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the settlement, in charge of 160 marines and
729 convicts -- weighed anchor in Portsmouth, England, on May 13, 1787, and reached Botany Bay the following
January. Finding it too barren, sandy, and shallow for permanent settlement, Phillip investigated the next inlet to
the north. There, spreading its fingers of deep water into sheltered sandstone promontories, he found "one of
the finest harbours in the world, in which a thousand sail on the line might ride in the most perfect security."
The harbor, which had been discovered and named by Cook earlier, was Port Jackson -- now better known as
Sydney Harbour. The city that grew up around the famous harbor takes its name from Lord Thomas Townshend
Sydney, the British home secretary to whom Governor Phillip reported. Phillip's First Fleet was unloaded 8 miles
(13 kilometers) upstream at Sydney Cove on Jan. 26, 1788--now celebrated as Australia Day."
~Above Information from Compton's Encyclopedia~
Information about Arthur Phillip from Compton's Encyclopedia:
Arthur (1738-1814). The first European colony established in
Australia was founded by the British
naval commander Arthur Phillip. The convict settlement at Sydney in New South Wales was set up in 1788,
and Phillip acted as its first governor.
Phillip was born on Oct. 11, 1738, in London, England. He studied at Greenwich and served in the navy until
his retirement in 1763, when he married and planned to settle down to life as a farmer. By 1776 he was back
on board ship in service to the government of Portugal. In 1786 the English government assigned him to
form a convict settlement in Australia, a task to which he was well suited.
The first fleet set sail with 11 ships on May 13, 1787. Despite a mutiny plot, the fleet arrived in New South
Wales on Jan. 18, 1788. Phillip named the colony Sydney after the secretary of state, Viscount Sydney.
He established good relations with the aborigines and with their help explored the area around Sydney.
Phillip's ill health forced him to return to England in December 1792. He was made an admiral
in 1814 before his death on August 31 of that year."
~From Compton's Encyclopedia~
Australia Information & Links:
National Library of Australia
Guide to Australia
Australia Fun, Games & Activities:
What time is it in Australia? Visit World Time Zones and find out.
Australia Day from KidsCrafts at About.Com
Australia Day from Surf the Net for Kids
Zoom School page about Australia
Australia Concentration Puzzle
Australia Day Pages:
National Australia Day Council
Send an Australia Day Greeting Card to a Friend. Just click the image below:
The cards are FREE and from Annie's Card Shop.
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