Australia Day, 26 January, is a day for Australians to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary Australia and to acknowledge Australian history. 

It acknowledges and celebrates the contribution that every Australian makes to this contemporary and dynamic nation. From the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – who have been here for more than 65,000 years – to those who have lived here for generations, to those who have come from all corners of the globe to call this country home. 

This resonates strongly with members of the Australian Army who, each day, are proud to wear the Army uniform and serve the nation at home and abroad. 

Each year members of the Australian Army attend Australia Day ceremonies in the capital cities, where they fire a traditional 21 Gun Salute. 

The tradition of the gun salute originated in the early 14th Century, firstly, as ceremonial method of creating noise to honour a guest and, secondly, for the practical purpose of confirming the guns were empty. Salutes were considered a gesture of friendship and trust, and are always fired with an odd number of rounds as this was considered lucky.