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Australia Day at Burra

This newsreel shows the then prosperous and bustling mining town of Burra, or the collection of townships known as ‘The Burra’, celebrating Australia Day on July the 30th,  predating the now national celebration held on 26 January. At that time there was no nationally recognised national day, instead they usually were based around each state’s date of significance for the founding of the colony.

Year:1915

Location:Burra; South Australia, Australia

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Australia Day at Burra

This newsreel shows the then prosperous and bustling mining town of Burra, or the collection of townships known as ‘The Burra’, celebrating Australia Day on July the 30th,  predating the now national celebration held on 26 January. At that time there was no nationally recognised national day, instead they usually were based around each state’s date of significance for the founding of the colony.


Year: 1915

Length: 03:00

Production Company: Australasian Films Ltd.

Credits: Australasian Films Ltd.

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title 9572


Location: Burra; South Australia, Australia

Tags: Australia, remembrance, home front, flags, South Australia; Australia Day, posters, propaganda, Burra

Subject: Australia Day


British flags are strongly evident in this parade as Australia still saw itself as serving the Empire. Some historians maintain that it was the Gallipoli Campaign that forged an Australian identity. That would suggest this footage is at the cusp of a cultural transition.

Recruitment posters also appear. One in particular on the front of a vehicle is adapted from an earlier British recruitment poster. It depicts an Australian serviceman gazing into the distance. The soldier occupies the foreground against a map which depicts Australia and the Gallipoli peninsula. The use of Gallipoli shows how this campaign had already entered public awareness. Geographical references that would have meant little to many Australians even a year earlier were now immediately recognisable. This familiarity was the seed that led to the significance of the Anzac Day that Australia now commemorates.