- 26 January 1988
Australian State and Federal governments named the festivities around the Bicentenary of the invasion of Australia on 26 January 1788 by the British the 'Celebration of a nation'. Various communities took a dissenting view, notably many Indigenous groups who united on 26 January 1988 to stage the largest Indigenous protest in the history of colonised Australia. This took the form of a peaceful march of 100 000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Sydney. It was part of a history of Indigenous observation of this day inaugurated by the 1938 Day of Mourning. As the Indigenous poet and campaigner Oodgeroo Noonuccal asked at the time of the Bicentennial, 'from the Aboriginal point of view, what is there to celebrate?'. In 1987, Oodgeroo returned her MBE in protest against the upcoming 1988 Bicentennial celebrations.