Australia Day

The marking of 26 January is an important date in Australia's history and has changed over time: starting as a celebration for emancipated convicts and evolving into what is now a celebration of Australia that reflects the nation's diverse people. ( Written by Bright Horizons Senior Marketing Executive, Celia Cavanough.

As an Australian, who has now settled and had a family in England, I still like to celebrate Australia Day each year. I use this opportunity to remind my children about where I was born and brought up. One of our favourite books to read is ‘I’m Australian Too’ by acclaimed author Mem Fox, which celebrates Australia’s multi-cultural heritage.

So whether you’ve been to Australia, have family there, want to teach your children about life on the other side of the world, or just introduce a bit of fun back into January, here are my top tips for throwing an ‘Aussie celebration’:

  • Turn up your radiators to make it like summer and dress in shorts and thongs (flip-flops to everyone else), or anything green and gold.
  • Even though it is likely to be too cold in the UK to host a BBQ outdoors, you can still cook ‘snags on the barbie’, otherwise known as a sausage in a slice of bread with tomato ketchup (or tomato sauce to the Aussies).
  • Offer a burger with pineapple, pickled beetroot and a fried egg, along with other more usual toppings of onions, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Trust me, it is delicious, an Aussie burger with the lot!
  • Make your own lamingtons - sponge squares dipped in a chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut.


  • Have something with Vegemite, possibly an acquired taste for many people! A tasty way is Vegemite and cheese scrolls made with puff pastry.
  • Enjoy a Pavlova, a classic Australian BBQ dessert, and pile on plenty of fresh fruit.
  • Make fairy bread – white bread with butter or margarine and 100’s and 1000’s sprinkled on top.

    Fairy Bread

  • Put some Australian music on. More than just Kylie and Jason, an option is to listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 - an annual music listener poll hosted by the government-funded radio station, Triple J.
  • Watch the classic Australian children’s movie ‘Babe’ – it may be quite a few years old but it has aged well and can be enjoyed by all ages.
  • Speak like an Australian and use some of the following phrases:
    • G’Day – Hello
    • Fair dinkum – True, genuine
    • Hooroo – Goodbye
    • You little ripper! – Exclamation of delight or as a reaction to good news
    • Bonzer – Good (“you’ve done a bonzer job”)