Majority support moving Australia Day: Survey. Image Source: IANS News

Canberra, June 18 : A new survey on Friday revealed that majority of Australian citizens support changing the date of Australia Day out of respect for Indigenous people.

According to a the survey conducted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 55 per cent of people agree that Australia Day should not be celebrated on January 26 given the historical significance for Indigenous people, reports Xinhua news agency.

It marks a change in attitude from 2019 when 43 per cent of respondents were in favour of changing the date.

January 26 marks the anniversary of the 1788 landing of the First Fleet in Sydney.

The date has been celebrated as a national public holiday since 1994.

However, a campaign to change the date led by Indigenous people has grown in recent years with tens of thousands of people joining annual protests.

The ABC survey found that 39 per cent of Australians were strongly in favour of changing the date of Australia Day compared to 28 per cent in 2019.

Indigenous Australians have observed January 26 as a day of mourning, alternatively referring to it as "Invasion Day".

Shelley Reys, who was the inaugural co-chair of Reconciliation Australia, said the survey was a sign that the country was "growing and maturing as a reconciled nation".

"That doesn't mean we have got there - we still have a long way to go - but I do think the maturity shows we are now thinking about the relationship between (Indigenous and non-Indigenous people) and how we repair the relationship," she told the ABC.

"Part of that is understanding the perspective of the other, and in this case it's about January 26, and possibly changing that date." In response, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said he did not agree with changing the date.

"Australia Day is a day to celebrate Indigenous, British and multicultural history and look forward in unity with a determination to build a stronger and more rewarding Australia for all," Wyatt said.

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