By Tamara Kotowicz (Australian, Human Rights, 3 months)
On January 26 of every year Australians at home and abroad celebrate being Australian! Historically, it celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation of the eastern seaboard as a British Sovereignty. This does cause controversy, particularly among Aboriginal communities as it marks the arrival of the British, and subsequently the suppression of Aboriginal rights by white Australians for centuries to follow.
However, while this day is marred by its historical origins it has evolved to celebrate multiculturalism. There are citizenship ceremonies conducted across the nation. The Order of Australia is awarded to accomplished and outstanding Australians. The Australian of the Year is named, as well as the Senior and Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero. But for us everyday citizens it is a public holiday, so we celebrate with fireworks, boat races on Sydney Harbour, BBQ’s, beach parties, outdoor music concerts, sports events, or just spending time with family and friends. Of course Australia day is not complete without Triple J’s radio station Hottest 100 countdown.
So tonight in Cape Town, Projects Abroad’s mass of Australian volunteers will be hitting Long Street to celebrate! Keep an eye out for us and come and join in because we won’t be hard to miss… decked out in green and gold, or red, white and blue, and probably a beer in hand!