By Anton Lang ~
January the 26th is set aside every year here in Australia as the day we celebrate the founding of Australia. This was the day when Captain Arthur Phillip first claimed this vast Continent in the Southern Hemisphere as an English Colony on the 26th January 1788.
Years earlier, Captain James Cook had discovered the Eastern Coast of this Continent on his voyage of discovery and exploration in 1770.
This vast continent was already populated with indigenous people, but when Captain Phillip claimed the land, this was the first time a foreign Nation had come here to settle this vast Continent.
I have Posted a series on the discovery and settlement and the early days of Australian settlement, and the links to each of those five separate Posts are at the bottom of this Post.
The image shown at right is of the Australian Coat Of Arms. It shows a Kangaroo and an Emu, animals native only to Australia. They are holding a shield, and on that shield are the coats of arms of the six States that make up Australia, those States being New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. As well as those 6 States, there are 2 territories, The Northern Territory, and The Australian Capital Territory.
This is in effect our National Day. It is a declared Public Holiday, and all across the Country there are literally many hundreds of public celebrations to commemorate the Day, in Capital Cities, and many cities and towns across Australia. Also on this day, there are numerous Citizenship ceremonies where people who have come here from other Countries are naturalised as Australian citizens.
THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Also on this day, a number of Australians are honoured for the selfless work that they do for the Community and also the Country. This award is known as the Order Of Australia, and there are three Award dates each year, the largest of which is on Australia Day. This award is mostly for people in every day life who have given years service to Australia in many forms, mainly in the community.
The four levels of the Order of Australia are Companion (AC), Officer (AO), Member (AM), and Medal, (OAM), and they are the medals as shown in the image at right.
Today, 958 people in all were honoured with the Award of this Order of Australia in all four General Divisions of the Order. As well as these awards given in the General Division, there were also Awards given for those who work with distinction in the Public Service, the Police Service, the Fire Service, the Ambulance Service, and in the Emergency Services. As well as all those, people serving with distinction in the three arms of the Military Services also received the Military version of the Order Of Australia, and that was also in those same four Divisions.
The awards are open to any Australian, and they cover a diverse range of people from every background in Australia from politics, the medical and academic fraternities, sports, the arts, media, and all the way to community service for the average Australian.
The following link details some of the most notable people awarded this rare honour on this Australia Day, 2017, for their service to Australia in their designated areas.
AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Also on this day, the Australian Of The Year is also announced. Each of the six States and two Territories nominate one person, and from that short list of 8 persons, the Australian of the year is selected.
This year that prestigious honour was bestowed on the Biomolecular Scientist, Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, and he was the nominee from the State of Queensland. He was named the 2017 Australian of the Year for dedicating his life to researching stem cells which has led to the groundbreaking treatment of spinal cord injuries. In 2014, his research helped the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man. Professor Mackay-Sim is the director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research and is considered a global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells.
The article concerning this important award is at the following link.
As well as the main award for Australian Of The Year, there are three other categories, Young Australian Of The Year, Senior Australian Of The Year, and Australia’s Local Hero, and each of those awards is detailed with a separate section at the above link.
While ANZAC Day (April 25th) is perhaps the most solemn day on the Australian calendar, Australia day is the day we, as a collective Nation, celebrate our relatively long heritage.
I have detailed the early settlement of Australia in the five Posts at the following links.
Part 1. Australia (Part One) The Genesis
Part 3. Australia (Part Three) Arrival
Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.