The Informer: A day of heroes, history and division across the nation

Photo: File
Photo: File

You could visit any one of our huge network of regional websites today and read article after article about amazing people doing incredible things across this land.

It's awe-inspiring.

From Tasmania to NSW's Northern Rivers, north into Queensland and everywhere in between and beyond every local region had its own hero recognised today.

There were also the four big Australian of the Year awards - the Australian of the Year title going to survivor advocate Grace Tame; Senior Australian going to Artist, activist and teacher Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM; Local Hero is Rosemary Kariukiis; and the Young Australian is Isobel Marshall.

And while we celebrate the everyday heroes among us, today was also always going to be a day of division.

Across the country rallies and commemorative events took place to mark the day when the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove.

In Sydney, five people were arrested after an Invasion Day rally was attended by about 3000 masked protestors calling for the abolishment of Australia Day, and justice for First Nations people.

Their cries were echoed in Brisbane, where large crowds also gathered.

In the nation's capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was no escaping Australia changed forever on January 26, and used that as his reasoning for why Australia Day should continue to be held on this day.

Addressing the flag-raising and citizenship ceremony in Canberra, Mr Morrison said "our stories since that day have been of sorrow and of joy, of loss and redemption, of failure and of success".

And while the PM spoke at Lake Burley Griffin, hundreds descended on Parliament House for an Invasion Day rally.

In Ballarat, Victoria, the second annual Survival Day dawn service was held with Indigenous speakers reflecting on the devastating effects colonisation has had on Indigenous communities.

If you are a subscriber to The Courier you can read all about it here.

The other big news today, as always, laid with the daily COVID-19 updates. Victoria has now hit 20 straight days of no local virus cases, while NSW has also recorded another day with zero cases, however testing numbers remain a concern.

Looking globally and the UK is approaching 100,000 deaths, while the US and the European Union are considering new travel restrictions to counter the spread of the coronavirus variants as the world approaches 100 million cases.

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