I am sure all the Australians know this story already, but The Telegraph has published an article for the rest of us.
January 26 is celebrated as Australia Day because on that day in 1788 British settlers arrived on Australian shores for the first time. The anniversary has become an annual opportunity for the country to show its national pride.
The First Fleet of convicts departs Portsmouth, England, bound for Australia
British convicts had been sent to the Thirteen Colonies on the east coast of North America. But following the American War of Independence, the newly created United States of America refused to take criminals from the United Kingdom. And so, in 1785 plans were put in place for convicts to be sent to the land claimed by British explorer James Cook five years earlier: New South Wales in Australia. Philips was tasked with setting up a the first penal colonies on this new land, with Botany Bay the destination and site in mind.
You can read the full story by Rozina Sabur and Charlotte Krol at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/australia-day-can-celebrate-london.