One in five Australians believe we should not change the date of Australia Day, because it commemorates the day Captain James Cook first led his men to battle in Gallipoli during the Eureka Stockade Wars, an exclusive survey by The Shovel has found.
In an attempt to understand why the specific date of Australia Day is so important to some people, we asked a randomly selected group of people to explain what the date means to them.
More than a quarter (26%) claimed it a sacred commemoration of the time Matthew Flinders became the first Australian to circumnavigate the entirety of Kuta in a day, while 10% said it was in honour of the discovery of Cold Chisel’s Khe Sahn by Europeans.
“The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Khe Sahn – on a community radio station in Amsterdam in the mid eighties. It would be another three years before the English discovered it at a Walkabout pub in Shephard’s Bush. There’s a lot of history there,” said one self-proclaimed Australia Day historian.
One in five said the day commemorates the time Australia regained The Ashes from an Alistair Cook-led English side on the fifth day of a turning Kokoda Track.
“My Grandfather watched that test match in the stands at Gallipoli in 1986. There’s no fucking way we’re changing the date,” one respondent said.
Five percent of respondents said Australia Day was on the 26th of January because that was the date the Southern Cross star constellation was formed. “That was hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago. We can’t just go changing the date for something that’s been in place for so long,” one person said.