Matildas and Arsenal goalkeeper and PFA Executive Committee member Lydia Williams provides her thoughts on Australia Day.


When I was really young growing up in Kalgoorlie, we didn’t celebrate Australia Day.  I can’t remember an Australia Day, or anything really about it from when I was young.

Once we moved to Canberra, my Dad and I used to go to the Tent Embassy (The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a permanent protest occupation site based in Canberra, established in 1972) where there were Aboriginal Corroborees, dancing and smoking ceremonies.

But there was never any celebration. It’s not really a celebration for me but an opportunity to educate and share part of my history and past.

Especially after you talk to Elders, when you have things like Welcome to Country incorporated into sport and into public life, it makes you really step back and hear their stories and it really confirms that this isn’t something that we should be celebrating. 

There is a different side to Australia Day that over the past couple of years has really hit the mainstream.

A significant thing that Australia could do is change the date.

I think everything else (addressing Indigenous affairs and inclusion) can be built off the back of that and would help to create an opportunity to improve everything everywhere.

Australia is such a multicultural country and it’s such a big step to change the date, but I think it opens the door for other immigrants and other cultures to be included too that have a connection to Australia beyond January 26.