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Fremantle Moves Australia Day To Create A 'Celebration For Everybody'

'We wanted to include all Australians.'

25/11/2016 10:09 AM AEDT | Updated 25/11/2016 12:22 PM AEDT
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The Western Australian city of Fremantle has moved its Australia Day celebrations for a "culturally inclusive alternative".

Out of respect to the Indigenous community, the council has shifted their official event to the 28th of January, in a move they say is "an opportunity for all Australians to come together on another day".

"For us as a city, we thought it was time to acknowledge it wasn't a day of celebration for everybody and it was an opportunity for us to come up with a different format on a different day that could be truly inclusive," Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt told The West Australian.

The council voted to axe the traditional fireworks display in August and will not interfere with independent celebrations on January 26. John Butler, Dan Sultan and Mama Kin will perform at the event named "One Day in Fremantle".

"We are immensely proud to have artists of this calibre join Fremantle to celebrate diversity, inclusion and acceptance for all Australians," Fremantle Mayor Dr. Brad Pettitt in a statement on the Fremantle Council website.

"This family-friendly event will contribute to the nationwide conversation on celebrating our country and its people. Fremantle is offering Australians another day to celebrate -- together."

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the British on the First Fleet and has become increasingly controversial. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regard the public holiday as 'Invasion Day'.

Earlier this year, Triple J debated moving the Hottest 100 Countdown as respect to Indigenous people. They decided not to move the broadcast event for 2017, but will revisit the topic in 2018.

Fremantle Mayor Dr. Brad Pettitt said he hopes the new event will contribute to the nationwide conversation.

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