Tennis Australia has cited “differing views” as part of the reason the grand slam will not host Australia Day celebrations for tennis fans.
The Australian Open has revealed it will not be hosting Australia Day celebrations and will overlook the national holiday, while pushing inclusivity at the event.
IPA poll data released on Monday shows that 62 per cent of Australians support annual Australia Day celebrations on January 26.
However, Tennis Australia has revealed it has nothing planned for the public holiday as they endeavour to be “respectful of all”.
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“We are mindful there are differing views, and at the Australian Open we are inclusive and respectful of all,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.
“We acknowledge the historical significance and deep spiritual connection our First Peoples have to this land, and recognise this with a Welcome to Country on stadium screens prior to both the day and night session daily.”
The IPA poll revealed support for Australia Day celebrations have seen a gradual decline in recent years, especially among 18-24 year olds, of which only 42 per cent agreed to commemorating the date.
The first year of uncapped crowds since the COVID-19 pandemic has seen record numbers flock to Melbourne Park, with 534,528 fans attending the first week of the event.
The Australian Open has chosen to ramp up its “inclusivity efforts” to the huge crowds including the return of First Nations Day last Wednesday, following the success of its debut in 2022.
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The day was a celebration of Indigenous culture including art installations, live demonstrations, food and 14 First Nations ball kids taking to the courts for games on the day.
An All Abilities Day will take place on Tuesday, showcasing professional players and kids with different abilities on the court, including wheelchair tennis matches and low vision participants.
The first grand slam of the season also aims to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community as both players and avid tennis goers have the opportunity to partake in the “Glam Slam” as part of Pride Day this Friday.
Amid the busy schedule, Tennis Australia has chosen to focus on women’s tennis instead and the Australian anthem will only be played before the evening Rod Laver match on Thursday.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton criticised local council decisions to similarly opt out of celebrations and urged Australians to be “proud” of the national holiday on Monday.
“We live in the best democracy in the world … we want more opportunities, but you don’t do that by denying a part of history, or by trying to make sure that you cancel ceremonies and the rest of it,” he told reporters on Monday.
“That’s not how we should be celebrating our great country in the year 2023.”
In December, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles announced a revised code that allowed local councils greater flexibility to hold citizenship ceremonies from January 23 to January 29.
Mr Dutton accused those councils moving the date from January 26 as making a political decision to “grandstand”.
“We shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed by who we are, we should be more proud of who we are. We don’t need to tear down one part of our history to build up the other,” he said.
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