Australia Day 2017 Messaging Guide

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1 Australia Day 2017 Messaging Guide Note: This document is for internal purposes only. 1

2 Document purpose This document provides an overview of the National Australia Day Council s (NADC) key messages, in relation to Australia Day. These talking points have been informed by a recent survey (December 2016) commissioned by NADC, to gain insight into community behaviour and sentiment surrounding Australia Day. More than one thousand Australians from across the country and a range of cultural backgrounds took part in the survey. We encourage you to use these talking points as a guide if/when you are asked to give comment on the upcoming celebrations. Together, we can encourage all Australians to reflect on and celebrate Australia Day, their way. Australia Day statement Most Australians mark our national day each year. Be it a family BBQ, attending official celebrations or tuning in on TV. And it s the most inclusive national celebration of the year with families and recent migrants being the most likely to participate. It's one of the year's biggest events on social media. Where #AustraliaDay fills our feeds with the many and diverse ways people spend the day. Australia Day means different things for different people but the vast majority see it as much more than just a day off. Australians see it as a day in which we can unite and celebrate the positives. It s a time to reflect on what makes Australia such a great country the people, land, diversity, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy and the freedom we enjoy. It s a day we embrace our remarkable diversity. We are a multicultural nation and we celebrate this on Australia Day more than any other day, with more than 16,000 new Australians choosing to become citizens on 26 January. Australia Day is about acknowledging our nation s past, celebrating the present, uniting and moving forward together as a nation. It s a time to reflect on our national journey and in particular, the ongoing history, traditions and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and encourage constructive dialogue about a positive and inclusive future. We encourage everyone to mark the day in their own way, but however people choose to commemorate or celebrate Australia Day, this should be done in an inclusive and respectful manner.. 2

3 Key Messages General On Australia Day, we come together as a nation to reflect and acknowledge our past, celebrate the present and look confidently to the future. Australia Day is a well-entrenched tradition in Australia and is widely engaged with by Australians of all walks of life. It s a day that most Australians choose to spend with friends and family- around a BBQ, at an event or at home watching on TV. Australia Day is a day Australians see as inclusive with families and new Australians the most likely to engage in activities. Participation A significant percentage of Australians (65 per cent) acknowledged, recognised or celebrated Australia Day in o Of those, 61 per cent participated in at least one specific Australia Day event with fireworks, events on TV or parades as the most common. More than 66 per cent of Australians choose to spend the day with family and friends. Participation in Australia day is highest amongst families and those born overseas. Meaning / Understanding 4 in 5 Australians see Australia Day as being more meaningful than just a day off. Australia Day is a day to reflect on and celebrate the positive. The things we love about Australia: our people, land, diversity, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy and the freedoms we all enjoy. 72 per cent of Australians agreed that Australia Day should be a day that celebrates what it means to be Australian. 74 per cent of Australians believe that Australia Day is a time to celebrate the country s cultural history - a nation with a rich tapestry of different cultures, backgrounds and histories that deserves to be celebrated. Sensitivities We respect the views of Indigenous Australians - the longest continuing culture on the planet. We acknowledge that some consider it a day of mourning or as a day to mark the survival of their ongoing traditions and cultures. It is important that these views are respected and that collectively, we look to have constructive dialogue about this history and about what Australia Day can become for future generations. 3

4 Call to Action General - Australia Day means something different to everyone, so celebrate your way on 26 January. - This Australia Day, celebrate your way. For more information on Australia Day and how to get involved visit australiaday.org.au Regarding local events - There are hundreds of events taking place across Australia on January 26. To find an event near you, visit the national calendar of events at australiaday.org.au Social engagement - Share how you are choosing to celebrate with the nation using #AustraliaDay across all social platforms. Promoting the #AustraliaDay partnership with Twitter and the NMA - The National Australia Day Council has teamed up with Twitter and the National Museum of Australia to provide an annual live digital snapshot of Australia Day. Be part of the live digital Australia Day exhibition by sharing your Australia Day celebration on Twitter using #AustraliaDay 4

5 Frequently Asked Questions The below information is to assist in responding to enquiries on topical issues related to Australia Day. These should be adapted to suit the enquiry you are responding to. Not everyone celebrates on this day and view 26 January as Invasion Day. Why don t you change the date? - We respect the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who consider it a day of mourning or those who see it as a day to mark the survival of Australia s ongoing traditions and cultures - the longest continuing culture on the planet. - NADC does not set the date of Australia Day, as the Australian Government decides this. If you wish to receive a response from the Australian Government, please contact the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. - We encourage constructive dialogue about the significance of the date for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Acknowledging history is a key part of reconciliation. - However people choose to commemorate or celebrate being Australian on Australia Day, the NADC encourages all Australians to do so in an inclusive and respectful manner that creates unity. Do you think we re seeing an unhealthy or inappropriate show of patriotism on Australia Day? - For the vast majority of Australians Australia Day is a day of unity and inclusion. - Australia Day is one of the most celebrated days in the country, with high participation rates and levels of engagement. In 2016, more than 65 per cent of Australians acknowledged, recognised or celebrated Australia Day. - For most people it s a day spent with family and friends. - There is a sense of pride in our nation, as well as a strong agreement that Australia Day should be a day that celebrates what it means to be Australian in an inclusive way. - All of our Australia Day celebrations need to be conducted with this in mind. We all have a role to play in encouraging understanding, inclusion and mutual respect among all Australians. Do you think Australia Day is more culturally divisive than inclusive? - More than 71 per cent of Australians agree that Australia Day is a day that includes everyone. - Over the last decade, we have seen more Australians from all walks of life recognise the importance of celebrating our national day. - High participation rates among newly arrived Australians and migrants demonstrate that we share the common belief that there is much to be proud of as Australians - We are a multicultural nation, and we celebrate this on Australia Day. There are more citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day than any other day, which is a fantastic way to welcome our newest Australians into the community. - There s always more that we can do and we all have a role to play in respecting different views of Australia Day, however you choose to mark the day. 5

6 Do you think the date of Australia Day should be changed? - The NADC does not set the date for Australia Day. It s certainly something the people of Australia should have a role in discussing if it was to be changed. We encourage constructive dialogue about what Australia Day can become for future generations. Some people think Australia Day should be scrapped and Anzac Day should be our national day- what do you think of that idea? - Both days hold important significance. Australia Day remains our most significant day of national celebration, just as Anzac Day is our most important day of commemoration. Do you think changing the date of Australia Day would help Reconciliation? - Reconciliation is an important and ongoing process that includes acknowledging history. Australia Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on our national journey by acknowledging the past and seeking ways to move forward together as a nation. - Currently, almost half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are actively engaged in Australia Day celebrations. Do you think we should change the Australian flag? - This would be a decision that would need considerable national debate and consideration. It s a decision for the Australian people and Government. Do you think the national anthem is outdated/should be changed? - We encourage every Australian to sing our national anthem loud and proud on Australia Day. Do you think most people see Australia Day as just a day off? - No. Four in five Australians see the day as having a greater meaning than just a day off work. It s a day to come together as a nation to celebrate what we love about being Australian. - Australia day has meaning for the vast majority of Australians it is a time to consider how lucky we are to be in Australia, being with family and friends, and the freedom we enjoy. - Many Australians take this day as an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends with many people attending the hundreds of community-based events around the nation. Contact Information National Australia Day Council Damian Tunney Director, Communications and Content (02) or Bree Baguley Communications Manager, Australia Day (02) or

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