The Problem with Australia Day

It’s Australia Day on Sunday; Australia Day is 26 January every year. I’ve mentioned Australia Day several times before on this website, for example…

So what’s the problem with Australia Day?

Australian flag

The Australia Day holiday always comes right at the very end of the six weeks (or more) summer school holidays for the kids. By the time we get to Australia Day, most people are holidayed out.

I’m talking mainly about parents with children who have probably spent the last six weeks trying to keep their kids amused. People have usually had their one or two-week summer holidays during this time as well, and, of course, for many there would have been the long Christmas and New Year’s break from work.

Then, just as the kids are about to go back to school, we get one more day off for Australia Day. This year, as I’ve mentioned, that falls on Sunday. On account of that, Monday will be a national holiday. The kids go back to school on Tuesday.

So, who wants to make a long weekend of it and go away somewhere fancy?

And that’s the problem with Australia Day.

So often it gives us a long weekend, but nobody really wants to take advantage of it. It would have been far better all round, I think, if Captain Arthur Phillips, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, had arrived at Sydney Cove on, say, February 26th instead of January.

A long weekend would have been quite welcomed by then.

Hey, it’s not that bad though.

It is summer and the weather is almost guaranteed. People usually relax in the garden with a few tinnies, invite some mates round and maybe fire up the barbecue. It’s a day to chill out and enjoy being Australian.

Not everyone stays in though, some head off out to enjoy one of the many Australia Day events that take place around the country.

Here in Brisbane for example, the Story Bridge Hotel hosts the “Australia Day Cockroach Races” and has done for 33 years.

Seems fair, Queenslanders, after all, are known as ‘cockroaches’.

We are not the only ones with nicknames though, check out Interstate Rivalry in Australia: A Few Nicknames

Now, let’s take a look at some cockroach racing…

Now I realise that the actual race in that video wasn’t well covered, I’m sure many of you were disappointed about that. Thing is, a cockroach race doesn’t really last very long. The winner is the first cockroach to reach the outer edge of the mat, like this.

Here’s a cockroach race in full…

Have a great Australia Day, wherever you are.

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