Happy Australia Day

  • 26 January 2015 | Kolosa Vuso
The Whitsunday Islands, Australia. Image courtesy of Richard Rydge

The day is a national holiday so Aussies can either relax and reflect, or become involved in the many events the day brings. 

While Australia Day in various forms has been marked since 1808, 26 January was only recognised as an official public holiday by all the states forming the Australian federation in 1994 – a special year on the South African calendar, as it marks our country’s first democratic elections.

To acquaint yourself with your Australian visitors, perhaps it’s worth a few minutes to learn the two authorised verses (proclaimed in 1984) of their national anthem.

Test your skills at exactly 12pm, when Australians all over the world will be singing their national anthem. Your visitors will definitely feel like they are part of the festivities at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where the official Salute to Australia will be taking place on the day.

Here’s a video of the national anthem: 

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts;
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia fair
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

According to an Australia Day infographic, barbecues are an important part of Australia Day celebrations. Why not treat your Aussie guests to a special “braai” to honour this special day?

Also on this day, many people become official citizens of Australia and citizenship ceremonies are held all over.

Follow this hashtag to see festivities taking place on the day all over the world: #australiaday.

Nothing more Australian (or South African) than celebrating a national holiday with a barbecue (or braai)