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15 Jan 2020 | 07:28 AM UTC

Australia: Nationwide Australia Day celebrations scheduled January 26 /update 1

Australia Day events and associated protests to be held nationwide on January 26; heightened security measures and transportation disruptions expected

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security
transportation
AUS

Event

Nationwide events commemorating Australia Day will be held on Sunday, January 26, with main events expected in the capital Canberra, as well as in Melbourne, and Sydney. The annual Flag Raising and Citizenship ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Rond Terrace at 09:00 (local time) in Canberra, and in front of the Townhall at 10:30 in Melbourne. Similar events will take place in urban areas nationwide, and a full list can be found on the Australia Day website.

Demonstrations in support of greater rights and recognition for the indigenous community are also expected throughout the country. In Sydney, several civil society groups have called for a protest at 11:00 (local time) in Hyde Park South. Tens of thousands of people took part in a similar demonstration in 2019.

Heightened security measures, commercial disruptions, and crowded conditions are expected around all Australia Day celebrations and associated protests.

Context

Australians annually celebrate January 26 as a national holiday commemorating the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships. Indigenous rights groups protest the celebration, viewing it as a commemoration of the invasion of their land.

Advice

Individuals in Australia are advised to anticipate large crowds, increased demand for transportation, commercial disruptions, and a heightened security presence.