The history of Australia Day
Luke Grant is joined by Dr Elizabeth Kwan, Historian / Former senior lecturer in history and Australian studies at the University of South Australia, for a fascinating look at early Australia Day celebrations.
Four years ago on this day, Luke Grant spoke to Dr Kwan about the origins of Australia Day which her research found dated way back in 1804.
Early almanacs and calendars and the Sydney Gazette began referring to 26 January as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In Sydney, celebratory drinking, and later anniversary dinners became customary, especially among emancipists.
It was essentially a day for those who were free to celebrate the opportunities on offer to them. In 1818, Governor Macquarie acknowledged the day officially as a public holiday on the thirtieth anniversary of Foundation Day.
The previous year he accepted the recommendation of Captain Matthew Flinders, circumnavigator of the continent, that it be called Australia.
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