Local councils dump Australia Day, as ‘truth-telling’ programs gain momentum


A growing number of councils in Perth, including Mosman Park, Cambridge, and Fremantle, have decided to shift the date of their Australia Day citizenship ceremonies, reflecting the escalating debate surrounding the national holiday.

The councils’ decisions align with recent changes in the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, allowing flexibility around the January 26 date.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has deferred the decision to individual councils on hosting ceremonies, as the debate around the significance of the date intensifies.

Fremantle has replaced January 26 celebrations with ‘One Day’ on January 28 since 2016. The ‘One Day’ festivities have evolved to incorporate Indigenous cultural activities and will feature a new ‘Truth-Telling’ program this year.

This initiative, encompassing the controversial principles of ‘Voice, Treaty, and Truth,’ has sparked national discourse, as highlighted by Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge.

While over 80 councils nationwide have altered their celebrations, some, like the City of Perth, remain committed to observing January 26 as Australia Day.

The federal Opposition aims to reverse this trend, criticising the perceived attempt by Prime Minister Albanese to diminish the day’s significance.

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