Australia Day 2015: Rain fails to spoil festivities on controversial commemoration
- Getty Images
Rain definitely came down hard but didn't spoil the party spirit down under for Australia Day 2015. Away from home, Hugh Jackman did his patriotic duty by attending a ceremony at the Empire State building in new York City that saw the iconic tower lit up in Australian colours in honour of the day.
January 26th is the day when the world stops to celebrate everything Australian in honour of the landing of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, way back in in 1788. The day is a public holiday in all corners of Australia as well as being celebrated all around the world today.
Festivities were in full swing at Sydney Harbour with the annual ferry race taking place. Boats draped in flags dotted the entire harbour too giving the whole place a unique look as attendees dressed from head to toe in Australian flags and attire beneath all the waterproof gear and umbrellas.
The commemorative day was not without controversy however showing that perspective is absolutely everything when it comes to history. Two prominent hashtags that were trending widely were #SurvivalDay and #InvasionDay in support of native aboriginal Australians who were severely discommoded by the arrival of the British on this very day in 1788.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot got into a spot of bother after deciding to knight Prince Philip on this the most Australian of days. Despite outrage by the general public, Abbot said of the royal family member "Prince Philip has been a great servant of Australia. I’m just really pleased that in his 90s, towards the end of a life of service and duty, we in this country are able to properly acknowledge what he’s done for us."