It is believed that the first Aborigines started arriving in Australia in 50,000 BC, and the arrival of the British more than 51,000 years later was clearly an invasion of their land.
And yet, there are those Australians who consider and accept Australia Day as a day of possible reconciliation between those people who were here in the Dreamtime and those who came later....
Still there are calls for a change in the date of Australia Day.
How far the country has come
Today, around Sydney Cove stand the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the hub of bus, rail and harbour transport that is Circular Quay, and the historic Rocks area where Governor Phillip's first settlement had its roots. A stone's throw away is Darling Harbour, now a major tourist site, with its Sydney Powerhouse and National Maritime Museums, paved promenade areas, gardens, and shopping and entertainment precincts. One only has to look at Sydney today to see how far the country has come.
Modern Australia's birthplace, this is where Australia Day has its focus, and it is here that the years the nation has traveled is more easily discernible in the almost magical mix of Australia's historic past and its developing present.