Happy Australia Day!
Similar to our Independence Day, Australia Day celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. The fleet consisted of 11 ships that sailed from Great Britain to Australia to establish the first European colony on the continent.
Leaving on May 13, 1787, it took over eight months for the fleet to reach their destination and as you probably learned in history class, it did contain a large amount of prisoners. Yes, Australia was spawned from convicts. The 11 ships consisted of 1044 people total, with 696 being prisoners and 348 “free” persons that were made up of Civil officers, marines, their wives and their children.
Celebration of Australia Day dates back as far as 1808 and modern day celebrations include citizenship ceremonies, concerts, parties and festivals. Despite the revelry the national holiday is not without its controversy. Some of the Aboriginal community, who are indigenous to Australia, refer to it as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day,” because, similarly to what Christopher Columbus and those who followed did to the Native Americans, that was officially the day that Australia was no longer their own.
Controversy and politics aside, let’s take a look at our favorite Australians. Of course, we’ll start with a koala.