Proclamation Day

Proclamation Day Quick Facts

2024 Date26 December 2024
2025 Date26 December 2025

Proclamation Day (SA)

Proclamation Day (SA) in 2024
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Proclamation Day commemorates the establishment of British law in South Australia. The history of Proclamation Day dates back to December 28, 1836. The first colonist arrived at Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island on 27 July 1836. The HMS Buffalo was on of the first nine ships to arrive in South Australia. It was the largest ship which carried 174 passengers. The Buffalo brought the first colonists, including South Australia’s first Governor, Captain Jogn Hindmarsh.

Proclamation Day is observed through various festivities, including re-enactments of the proclamation reading and flag-raising at the Old Gum Tree Reserve in Glenelg. This landmark location is home to a living red gum tree, believed to be the actual site where Governor Hindmarsh read the original proclamation. This holiday is mainly celebrated in South Australia each year.

Top facts about Proclamation Day

  • "It is not the great events alone that make history, but also the presenting and recording of those events. This is essentially the role of heraldry. It plays its part in preserving the great tradition of heraldry to biological science." - Robert Douglass, South Australian Herald, speaking about the significance of traditional commemorations like Proclamation Day.
  • Before the proclamation, South Australia was uncolonized land inhabited by Indigenous Australians for over 40,000 years, including the Kaurna, Narungga, Ngarrindjeri, and Ngadjuri people.
  • South Australia was initially established as a mere colony but gained responsible government in 1856. In 1901, the colony joined the new Commonwealth of Australia resulting from the Federation of the Australian colonies.
  • The proclamation was made under the shade of a large gum tree, which has since been known as the Old Gum Tree and stands as an important symbol of South Australia's history.

Top things to do for Proclamation Day

  • Visit one of the many museums or art galleries around Adelaide such as the Art Gallery of South Australia or the South Australian Museum.
  • A re-enactment ceremony of the reading of the proclamation is held at the Old Gum Tree Reserve in Glenelg, Adelaide. This event includes speeches, period costumes, and live music.
  • Discover the history and culture of Adelaide city on a guided walking tour, visiting landmarks such as the Adelaide Oval and the North Terrace cultural boulevard.
  • Australians love a good barbecue, and Proclamation Day is an occasion to gather with friends and family for some outdoor grilling.

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