Australia

Australia Day: City shifts celebrations to 'inclusive alternative'

A patriotic temporary tattoo showing an Australian flag Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia Day is referred to as "invasion day" by some Indigenous Australians

A Western Australian port city will delay celebrating Australia's national day after consulting with Aboriginal elders.

The Australia Day public holiday marks the arrival of Britain's First Fleet on 26 January 1788.

Celebrations are held around the country, but many Indigenous Australians refer to it as "invasion day".

Fremantle council said it would hold a "culturally inclusive alternative" on 28 January instead.

The celebrations would include citizenship ceremonies that have previously happened on Australia Day.

"We were never trying to say to people they couldn't do anything or shouldn't do anything on Australia Day," Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt told the West Australian newspaper.

"That's for other people to judge. We're simply offering what I think is a really good alternative."

However, prominent Aboriginal elder and former Western Australian of the Year, Robert Isaacs, criticised the city's decision.

"That's not in the spirit of the Australia way," he told the ABC, adding the decision did not "stand up" with him.

He said the council "should not be playing around with white politics and black politics".

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Media captionJames Cook commanded HMS Endeavour on his first voyage to Australia and New Zealand from 1769 to 1771

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