Australia Day | State Library of New South Wales

The First Australia Day

The official founding ceremony of the new colony at Port Jackson has become "Australia Day". Use the sources to investigate the ceremony and its significance. 

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Click to explore other accounts of the event


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Click on the book to read extracts from the letters and journals used in this activity 

Captain Arthur Phillip

Click on Arthur Phillip's image to examine the painting of the event  


Explore More

  • Find out more detail about the Founding of Australia painting
  • If you were a local Indigenous person near Sydney Cove in 1788, how might you have viewed this official ceremony? 
  • How do Australians celebrate Australia Day?
  • What are we celebrating on Australia Day?
  • Based on the evidence, on what date should Australia Day be celebrated: 26 January or later? More


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