Although we've been living in this country for a few years now, I wasn't sure exactly why we celebrate this day, so I looked it up, and this is what a couple of sites had to say:
"Australia Day marks the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip unfurling the British flag at Sydney Cove and proclaiming British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia on 26 January 1788. On Australia Day, we celebrate what's great about Australia, celebrate our nation and our achievements and recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future." from the Australia Day, Victoria Government site.
"Australia Day, January 26, is the day we as a people and place celebrate our nationhood. The day is a public holiday. The day marks the founding of the first settlement in our nation by European people." Australian Immigration Department website.
Isn't it funny how different people word the same event differently, and different meanings come across. I think I like the second definition best, it sounds to the point. The first one sounds a bit more aggressive, I think it's the 'proclaiming ... sovereignty' part.
Anyway, we watched the firework display from the escarpment, and could hear our fellow revellers in neighbouring gardens. It's good to hear people celebrating, and I think it's important to keep up rituals and mark time as it passes. It helps us to remember why we're here, and gives us an opportunity to offer the hand of friendship.