Australia Day our most important day
Australians consider 26 January, Australia Day, as our nation's most important yearly event according to research* commissioned by the National Australia Day Council.
A survey conducted in October 2011 found 93% of Australians named Australia Day as a significant day on the national calendar, more so than any other day.
As a result, 87% of Australians plan to celebrate Australia Day in some way on 26 January and more than five million Australians will attend organised public events around the country. This represents an increase from the 77% who planned to celebrate in 2010.
National Australia Day Council CEO Warren Pearson said the research showed celebrating Australia Day helped fulfil a need for belonging and being part of a national community.
"The research found 80% of Australians believe Australia Day events are important to demonstrate pride in their country," said Mr Pearson.
"Furthermore, 77% think Australia Day events help to bring people together and make us feel more united while 74% said Australia Day makes them proud to be Australian.
"Whether it be through attending major events, taking part in a local community celebration or simply getting your friends and family together, Australia Day plays a significant role in our sense of belonging, unity and identity.
"In terms of what makes Australia a great nation and what we should celebrate on Australia Day, Australians mentioned the following characteristics and attitudes:
- Freedom (47%)
- Unique landscape & environment (34%)
- Cultural diversity (33%)
- Acceptance of others (32%)
- Willingness to help others (26%)
- Independence (25%)
- Democracy (23%)
The majority of people will celebrate Australia Day in their own suburb or metropolitan area (50%) or in their own town/region (24%).
"While some people travel to capital cities to attend large events, with thousands of Australia Day events being held around the nation, most Australians can enjoy celebrations in their own home area or town," said Mr Pearson.
"Given 68% of people said they have a lot of pride in their local area, it's great to have such a huge number and diverse range of events for everyone to take part in.
"People are also increasingly conscious of the role Australia Day can play in uniting many different Australians, with 72% believing it's important to recognise Indigenous people and culture as part of the day and 69% saying it's important to recognise the contribution of ethnic communities."
The study also looked at how Australians prefer to celebrate Australia Day around the nation:
- In the ACT, children's events, concerts, fireworks and activities which showcased Australian and Indigenous culture were popular;
- NSW residents also liked Australian and Indigenous culture, but street and food displays were popular along with concerts and music events;
- South Australians, Victorians and Tasmanians were above average in their preference for sporting events;
- Western Australians love their fireworks more than most of us, but breakfast events and street/food events are also liked;
- Northern Territorians prefer breakfast and morning events;
- Queenslanders, Victorians and Tasmanians all like the idea of holding more Australia Day breakfast events.
"However you choose to celebrate Australia Day in 2012, consider what it is you appreciate most about being Australian and how you can live in the spirit of Australia Day all year," said Mr Pearson.
For more information on Australia Day activities in your area visit www.australiaday.org.au/events and select your state or territory to find details about events in your region. Ends.
* Research commissioned by National Australia Day Council and conducted by Horizon Research in October and November 2011. The survey was conducted nationally online among over 2000 Australian participants aged 18 years and over.
Media Contact for National Australia Day Council & Australian of the Year Awards:
Nicole Browne, Media Opps 02 9954 7677 or 0414 673 762
- Visit www.australiaday.org.au/events for more information on Australia Day events around Australia.
- For media information on Australia Day events in your capital city or local region please contact your state or territory Australia Day Council or your local council.
- The Australian of the Year Awards 2012 will be announced on Wednesday 25 January 2012 (the eve of Australia Day) in Canberra.