Australians across the country commemorated their national day in a variety of ways – among the official events, there was frivolity and fireworks, while several thousand became proud citizens.

But many others lamented the impact on indigenous people of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and protested January 26 as invasion day.

After a divisive lead-up to Australia Day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison attended the national citizenship ceremony in Canberra, noting that Australia had come a long way since then.

He said the arrival of the First Fleet had been a hard day for the convicts too, which included one of his forebears on the Scarborough.

“It was a new beginning for him, but it would have seemed a particularly grim one at the time and life was indeed about to get a lot tougher.”

Mr Morrison said it was not the cruelty or dispossession of Australia’s “modern beginnings” that had prevailed since then but ideals that came too – of liberty and equality.

“The wonder of our country is that out of such hardship and cruelties would emerge a nation as decent, so fair and so prosperous as ours today. That is what we celebrate.”

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