Commemorating the landing of the first fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the day continues to become more controversial as time goes on.
The original Australians, along with many others, see this as 'invasion day' and instead of uniting the country it increasingly divides us.
Indeed it is pretty hard to find another country in the world that celebrates its national day on the date a foreign power arrives on its shores and takes over.
Some local councils have refused to take part in any celebrations this year much to the chagrin of the federal government.
Whether a new national day is possible is in the lap of the gods.
The 1st of January 1901 was Federation (the day Australia actually became a nation) but any celebration on that date would conflict with New Years Day.
Some have suggested 9th May, the anniversary of the day in 1901 when the new nation took practical form with the first sitting of the federal parliament in Melbourne, again in 1927, when the Parliament moved to the new capital, Canberra and finally in 1988, when the current Parliament House was opened.
Works for me.
Was it the Australian national anthem?
No, but some think it should be.
It is called I am Australian co written by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers fame and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers, an Australian folk and country music band or, more colloquially, a bush band.
Advance Australia Fair, the current national anthem, was written by Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878 and was selected to replace God Save the Queen (King) in 1984.
The words have been changed a number of times in an attempt to modernize it, but the terrible 'Our home is girt by sea' line seems to thwart all efforts. Girt? How awful is that!
The one criticism that resonates with me is "AAF is so boring that the nation risks singing itself to sleep, with boring music and words impossible to understand."
Compared with so many stirring national anthems around the world, ours is somewhat embarrassing.
There was one version, however, that shows what can be done with the song. That was at the opening of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. No rendition has ever reached such heights since.
There are a few other songs which people think could be more appropriate eg. Waltzing Matilda but a song about sheep stealing is not for the national stage. I Still Call Australia Home by Peter Allen always tugs at the heartstrings but again, maybe not serious enough.
I think we are stuck with the current dirge for some time to come.
Talk of becoming a Republic raised its head again. After the success of the SSM postal survey the Prime Minister suggested that might be a good way of assessing the public's interest in changing our status. The monarchists among us immediately started pooping corgis and the PM's thought bubble was quickly dismissed.
However the reality is the Queen is getting on (91 years old) and it has been generally accepted that the end of her reign as Queen of Australia would be a good time to completely break our British ties. Whether this will come to fruition who knows but the Labor Party now in opposition has promised to hold a compulsory plebiscite on the issue if (or more likely, when) they come into power next election in 2019.
After the defeat of the Republic Referendum in 1999 (55:45), I accepted I would never see it happen in my lifetime but there just could be light at the end of the tunnel.
Perhaps the anniversary of our becoming a republic could then be our national day.
It might also be a good opportunity to change the flag and get rid of the British Union Jack in the corner to make severing of our colonial ties complete.
Update 27\1\18: Unprecedented protest rallies against Australia Day across the country yesterday.
Reports here and here.