Both prior to the establishment of Australia Day as the national day of Australia, and in the years subsequent to its creation, several different dates have beenproposed for its celebration, and, at various times, the possibility of moving Australia Day to an alternative date has been mooted. While the reasons for such a move have been varied, concerns with thecurrent arrangement have included:
The current date, celebrating the foundation of the Colony of New South Wales, can be seen as lacking national significance.
Australia Day falls during the schoolholidays, limiting the ability of schools to engage children in the event.
The date can be perceived as being intrinsically connected to Australia's convict past, celebrating "Britain's driving ashoreof Australia's first white citizens in chains".
It fails to encompass all Australians, alienating some members of the indigenous community.Connected to this is the suggestion that moving the datewould be seen as a significant symbolic act.
Amongst those calling for change have been Tony Beddison, then chairman of the Australia Day Committee (Victoria), who argued for change and requested debateon the issue in 1999;and Mick Dodson, who, as the newly-named Australian of the Year in 2009, called for debate in regard to when Australia Day was held.
Proposed alternative dates
Federation ofAustralia, 1 January
As early as 1957, 1 January was suggested as a possible alternative day, to commemorate the Federation of Australia. In 1902, the year after federation, 1 January was named'Commonwealth Day'.However, New Year's Day was already a public holiday, and Commonwealth Day did not gather much support.
Anzac Day, 25 April
There has been a degree of support in recent years formaking Anzac Day, 25 April, Australia's national day, although the suggestions have also encountered strong opposition. In 1999, prompted by Tony Beddison's call for the date to be changed, a merger with...