Essential Report

Changing views towards Australia Day

Jan 19, 2021

Q. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?

  Jan’21 Jan’20 Jan’19 Jan ‘17 Jan ‘16 Jan ‘15
Doing something to celebrate Australia Day 29% 34% 40% 34% 38% 40%
Just a public holiday 53% 46% 45% 46% 44% 41%
Working – I don’t get the Australia Day holiday 6% 6% 6% 5% 6% 7%
Don’t know 12% 14% 9% 15% 12% 12%
Base (n) 1,084 1,080 1,652 1,015 1,028 1,020
  • Under a third (29%) of people are doing something to celebrate Australia Day this year, lower than in previous years (34% in 2020 and 40% in 2019).
  • Just over half (53%) say they treat it as just a public holiday, which is the highest recorded since 2015.
  • 6% are working and don’t get the holiday, and 12% don’t know.
  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Doing something to celebrate Australia Day 29% 35% 24% 23% 34% 31% 30% 36% 9% 32%
Just a public holiday 53% 47% 58% 58% 49% 53% 55% 48% 76% 45%
Working – I don’t get the Australia Day holiday 6% 6% 5% 8% 7% 2% 4% 7% 8% 7%
Don’t know 12% 11% 13% 11% 11% 15% 11% 9% 8% 15%
Base (n) 1,084 539 545 341 358 385 334 431 118 106
  • Coalition voters are the most likely to be doing something to celebrate Australia Day compared to other voters (36% followed by 30% Labor voters, 32% other voters and 9% Greens voters). For the majority of Greens voters (76%), Australia Day is just a public holiday.
  • Those aged 18-34 are less likely to be doing something to celebrate Australia Day than older cohorts (23% compared to 34% of those 35-54 and 31% of those over 55).

Support towards a separate national day

Jan 19, 2021

Q. It has been suggested that Australia should have a separate national day to recognise Indigenous Australians. Do you…?

  Jan‘21 Jan‘20 Jan’19 Oct‘18
Support a separate day and keep Australia Day 35% 32% 37% 36%
Support a separate day to replace Australia Day 18% 18% 15% 14%
Do not support a separate day 35% 40% 40% 37%
Don’t know 12% 11% 8% 12%
TOTAL: Support a separate day 53% 50% 52% 50%
Base (n) 1,084 1,080 1,652 1,027
  • Support for a separate day to recognise Indigenous Australians (either in place, or alongside Australia Day) is now at 53% (50% in 2020).
  • 35% support including a separate national day with a further 18% supporting a replacement of Australia Day.
  • Over a third (35%) don’t support a separate day.
  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Support a separate day and keep Australia Day 35% 38% 32% 39% 41% 26% 43% 36% 24% 30%
Support a separate day to replace Australia Day 18% 16% 20% 27% 16% 13% 18% 13% 53% 17%
Do not support a separate day 35% 35% 34% 17% 29% 55% 29% 45% 14% 45%
Don’t know 12% 11% 14% 16% 14% 6% 11% 7% 9% 8%
TOTAL: Support a separate day 53% 54% 52% 67% 56% 39% 61% 49% 77% 47%
Base (n) 1,084 539 545 341 358 385 334 431 118 106
  • Support for a separate day is highest among Greens voters (77%), Labor voters (61%) and those aged 18-34 (67%).

National Day

Jan 29, 2020

Q. It has been suggested that Australia should have a separate national day to recognise Indigenous Australians. Do you…?  

Jan ‘20 Jan’19 Oct ‘18
Support a separate day and keep Australia Day 32% 37% 36%
Support a separate day to replace Australia Day 18% 15% 14%
NET: Support a separate day 50% 52% 50%
Do not support a separate day 40% 40% 37%
Don’t know 11% 8% 12%
Base (n) 1,080 1,652

 

Total Labor Liberal + National Greens NET: Other
Support a separate day and keep Australia Day 32% 38% 28% 32% 32%
Support a separate day to replace Australia Day 18% 20% 12% 42% 9%
NET: Support a separate day 50% 58% 40% 73% 42%
Do not support a separate day 40% 29% 54% 15% 53%
Don’t know 11% 13% 6% 12% 5%
Base (n) 1,080 351 342 110 156
  • Support for a separate day to recognise Indigenous Australians (either in place, or alongside Australia Day) has decreased 2%pts from last year, from 52% to 50%.
  • 32% support including a separate national day with a further 18% supporting a replacement of Australia Day.
  • Support for a separate day was highest among Greens (73%) and Labor (58%) voters.
Total Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
Support a separate day and keep Australia Day 32% 41% 32% 25%
Support a separate day to replace Australia Day 18% 24% 18% 11%
NET: Support a separate day 50% 65% 50% 36%
Do not support a separate day 40% 21% 37% 57%
Don’t know 11% 14% 13% 6%
Base (n) 1,080 330 374 376
  • Support for a separate day was highest among those aged 18-34, with 65% support. Support was at 50% support among 35-54 year olds and 36% among those aged over 55.

Australia Day

Jan 29, 2020

Q. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?

Total Aged

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+   Jan’19 Jan ‘17 Jan ‘16 Jan ‘15
Doing something to celebrate Australia Day 34% 32% 32% 37% 40% 34% 38% 40%
Just a public holiday 46% 50% 46% 43% 45% 46% 44% 41%
Working – I don’t get the Australia Day holiday 6% 8% 3% 3% 6% 5% 6% 7%
Don’t know 14% 9% 14% 17% 9% 15% 12% 12%
Base (n) 1,080 330 374 376 1,652
  • 34% said they will be doing something to celebrate Australia Day, 46% treat Australia Day as just a public holiday and 6% are working because they don’t get the Australia Day holiday.
  • People aged 18-34 were less likely to be engaging in specific celebrations to mark the National Day compared to last year (32%, down from 45% in 2019).

Australia Day

Jan 28, 2015

Q. Monday 26th January is Australia Day. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other/

indep-endent

 

Jan 2010

Jan 2013

Jan 2014

Doing something to celebrate Australia Day

40%

37%

45%

25%

47%

40%

41%

37%

Just a public holiday

41%

44%

35%

61%

34%

40%

43%

44%

Working – don’t get the Australia Day holiday

7%

7%

8%

6%

6%

6%

7%

7%

Don’t know

12%

12%

12%

8%

13%

14%

9%

11%

40% said they will be doing something to celebrate Australia Day, 41% treat Australia Day as just a public holiday and 7% are working because they don’t get the Australia Day holiday. This represents a small rise in the percentage of those celebrating Australia Day since last year.

Those aged 55+ were more likely than those in other age groups to be doing something to celebrate Australia Day (45%). 50% of those with university education and 47% of those aged 25-44 treat it as just another public holiday.

Australia Day

Jan 14, 2014

Q. Sunday 26th January is Australia Day with the public holiday on the Monday. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other/

indep-endent

 

18 Jan 10

29 Jan 13

Doing something to celebrate Australia Day

37%

34%

42%

25%

37%

40%

41%

Just a public holiday

44%

46%

43%

54%

41%

40%

43%

Working – don’t get the Australia Day holiday

7%

9%

6%

14%

8%

6%

7%

Don’t know

11%

12%

9%

7%

14%

14%

9%

37% said they will be doing something to celebrate Australia Day, 44% treat Australia Day as just a public holiday and 7% are working because they don’t get the Australia Day holiday. This represents a small fall in the percentage of those celebrating Australia Day since last year.

18-34 year olds were more likely than those in other age groups to be doing something to celebrate Australia Day (45%). 53% of those with university education treat it as just another public holiday.

Date of Australia Day

Jan 14, 2014

Q. Australia Day is celebrated annually on 26th January, which is the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Sydney Cove, New South Wales.  Do you approve or disapprove of holding Australia’s national day on the 26th January?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other/

indep-endent

Total approve

66%

63%

78%

37%

61%

Total disapprove

7%

6%

4%

27%

8%

Strongly approve

37%

34%

44%

18%

39%

Approve

29%

29%

34%

19%

22%

Neither approve nor disapprove

24%

28%

16%

27%

30%

Disapprove

5%

5%

3%

16%

4%

Strongly disapprove

2%

1%

1%

11%

4%

Don’t know

3%

2%

2%

8%

1%

66% approve of celebrating Australia day on 26th January and only 7% disapprove. 24% neither approve nor disapprove.

Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (27%) and those with incomes under $600 pw (13%).

Australia Day

Jan 29, 2013

Q. Saturday 26th January is Australia Day with the public holiday on the Monday. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?

 

18 Jan 10

Total

29 Jan 13

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Aged 18-34

Aged 35-54

Aged 55+

Doing something to celebrate Australia Day

40%

41%

43%

44%

27%

45%

38%

39%

Just a public holiday

40%

43%

41%

41%

61%

38%

46%

44%

Working – don’t get the Australia Day holiday

6%

7%

7%

8%

2%

8%

8%

6%

Don’t know

14%

9%

9%

7%

10%

8%

8%

12%

41% of people surveyed said they will be doing something to celebrate Australia Day, 43% treat Australia Day as just a public holiday and 7% are working because they don’t get the Australia Day holiday. These are similar results to the last time this question was asked three years ago.

Females were more likely to indicate they will be doing something to celebrate Australia Day (45%) while males were more likely to think it is just a public holiday (45%).

18-34 year olds were more likely than those in other age groups to be doing something to celebrate Australia Day (45%).

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