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‘Not the day to celebrate’, companies backing away from Australia Day

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‘Not the day to celebrate’, companies backing away from Australia Day


A number of organisations, companies and brands are taking a stance in not taking part in celebrating Australia Day.

Companies are shifting operations to allow the employees to choose how they spend their time on 26 January. Workers have been granted to swap their ‘Australia Day’ leave for another date if they do not wish to holiday.

Which organisations have acted on disregarding Australia Day celebrations?

The 2023 Australian Open tournament has announced to not celebrate on January 26 and instead stand in solidarity with First Nations peoples. 

Tennis Australia stated, “We are mindful there are differing views, and at the Australian Open, we are inclusive and respectful of all.”

The organisation continued, “We acknowledge the historical significance and deep spiritual connection our First Peoples have to this land and recognise this with a Welcome to Country on stadium screens prior to both the day and night session daily.”

Following the Australian Open, major retail brand, Kmart announced they will not be selling any Australia Day merchandise this year, to ensure it is “inclusive and respectful to all.”

Fashion label, Clothing the Gap, celebrates Aboriginal people and culture, praising Kmart’s decision.

In an Instagram post it stated,  “Good to hear @kmartaus making a decision to dump Australia Day products in store. Symbolism matters and in Jan and the lead up to Invasion day it really takes a toil on a lot of mob seeing so much ‘Aussie’ pride merchandise.”


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A post shared by Clothing The Gaps (@clothingthegaps)

Major telecommunications company, Telstra, also took its own stance to allow employees to have a choice on how to spend Australia Day. It happens to be the first Australia Day that its 29,000 employees will have the option to choose whether to work on the day which came after an internal vote by the staff in favour of the change. 

CEO of Telstra, Vicki Brady stated, “I’m proud that at Telstra, our people can now choose to take 26 January as a public holiday, or work that day and request an alternative day off.”

Following Telstra, Network 10 announced last year that “26 January” was “not a day of celebration.” All Paramount staff, including those at Network 10 and elsewhere, were given the choice not to recognise the date.

The email thread to the staff read, “We recognise that 26 January evokes different emotions for our employees across the business, and we are receptive to employees who do not feel comfortable taking this day as a public holiday,”



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Benay Ozdemir

Benay is an in-house writer for Niche Media.

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