The whole country was in shock and anger when the inner north Melbourne council had sent out a briefing prior to Australia Day, telling its employee not to utter the words “Australia Day” when discussing the prestigious public holiday. Actually, according to the various media channels, a bulletin was posted by Indian-origin council chief executive Vijaya Vaidyanath which read as:
“Council made a resolution to change the way we mark our national day on January 26. This includes no longer referring to this date as Australia Day.”
“All staff are asked to use the words “January 26 public holiday” rather than “Australia Day public holiday” when notifying clients or customers of the opening hours of their service or centre on this day.”
Yarra Council Controversy: Statement from Yarra Mayor Cr Daniel Nguyen
Australia Day: All You Need To Know
Australia Day is the official national day of Australia as it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip. Also, 26 January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland.
Who Is Vijaya Vaidyanath?
As we know, Vijaya is a Chief Executive Officer at Yarra City Council and is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of Council’s policies. She is a member of the Procurement Australia Board, Destination Melbourne and is also an active member of several advisory panels and working groups. She is also a Senior Executive Fellow of the John F Kennedy School of Government.