Australian Public Holiday Discussion

They are not spread out enough.

The first 4 are all within a month of each other.

Then Easter is another 4 together.

That wouldn’t be the point of assisting with slowing down and taking a break.

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For us, having those public holidays in summer is probably the best time to have days off work.

Here’s what i would change.

Indigenous Day replaces King’s Birthday, first Monday of July (coincides with winter school holidays).

Labour Day, national holiday Monday around 1st May (tradional labour day in most parts of the world).

Australia Day could be the last Monday of January, so we are not making it about a particular date. It would also be the last day of scool holidays.

Scrap the Picnic Day but have Remembrrence Day 11 November as a public holiday. Unless we have another day we can celebrate. Federation Day could be an alternative. Celebrate on 2 January to make that anothrr double day off in summer.


I understand. My thinking with that was that this would be a more palatable solution to those who are on the fence and not as keen on ‘changing the date’ but I can see how it would still be problematic for some.

I like the idea of an Indigenous Day, I’d make it an extra public holiday though as that would be less politically contentious than it replacing a ‘colonial’ holiday.

If we were to replace Kings Birthday altogether I am partial to Wattle Day at the start of September. It’s got no political connotations which makes it ideal in my view and it’s right in the time of year where there’s a dearth of existing holidays.

One way we could it is replace our picnic days with Indigenous Day. Then, we could swap the King’s Birthday with Remembrance Day and they could sell it to prple by saying (and it’s closer to King Charles’s actual birthday :wink: ).

I don’t mind that. We had a teacher at our primary school who liked to celebrate Wattle Day. I remember we all panted pictures of wattle flowers and leaves in green and gold and hung them in the classroom to celebrate the start of Spring.

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I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve been entitled to a picnic day (despite having union membership) so I’m all in favour!

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was there any reason why rememberance day was never a public holiday?

For many years following WWII, Remembrance Day was commemorated on the same day as the UK’s Remembrance Sunday. Commemorations on the 11th grew gradually in the 80s and 90s, however, it’s still overshadowed by ANZAC Day, with Remembrance Day services seeing declining attendance rates.

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i’ve never heard of this? Is this a NSW thing?

I used to like that my former employer, which was a national company, recognised that Victoria had one fewer public holiday than other states, so Victorian employees had a “floating public holiday” that they could elect to take anytime during the calendar year and gave them the same number of public holidays as other states.

When I used to work in retail, we had picnic days. Yes, i am from NSW. Not sure if other states have them, or other industries outside retail.

It’s not a standard thing (and I’m not sure it’s a NSW-only thing either) - Picnic day is usually associated with the unions, some industries have a fixed date meanwhile others allow for flexibility based on employer/site (we have our Union Picnic Day on Melbourne Cup day)


We’ve always had them. I know people in all industries who have them if they are on awards or contracts.

Originally, my company always had our Picnic Day on the day after Boxing Day so we had an extra long break at a time of year the company was not very busy. I remember Australia Post also had theirs on the same day and they said it was timed well because postal workers needed a break after the Christmas rush.

Then legislation was passed to allow companies to let staff have that day off any time of the year. So it was called Concession Day or Additional Day. I believe the NSW State Government still calls it that but they want staff to take it on either Christmas Eve or New Years Eve when things are quiet.

Also in NSW we have Bank Holiday, which is the first Monday in August which is the picnic day for bank, insurance companies and financial companies. Banks are closed that day.

I’m sure there’s a similar day when all barbers and hairdressers are closed for their day off.

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I know a lot of them close for the afternoon on Melbourne Cup Day in NSW. That might be part of it?

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The NSW Government gives staff who aren’t eligible for Union Picnic Day or other special leave (like local holidays) an additional day off during the Christmas shutdown which is supposed to bring all NSW public service staff into alignment

They used to award (at the discretion of the Premier) half a day of Concessional Leave to anyone working Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, but the rules have changed in recent years and this has been significantly reduced in scope to those who work Christmas Eve and the Christmas closedown period, as long as service delivery isn’t impacted.

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We used to but now that day is incorporated into annual leave for the year, which is total BS. Now I’ll have to take a Long Service Day on the 27th of December (and no guarantee I’ll get approved) or piss doctors off by getting a certificate.

Does Aus Post still close on New Year’s Eve (or whatever the last business day of the year is)?

I think it changes every year but it’s a day between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It depends on how the public hildays sit around the weekend. So either after Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve.

The reason behind WA’s Kings Birthday holiday being in September is to spread the holidays out a little.
Otherwise there would be no public holidays between early June (WA Day) and Christmas day.

Remembering that the late Queens birthday holiday in England wasn’t held on her birthday iether.