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New #AustraliaDay twitter emoji unveiled as Australians prepare to share their Australia Day

An illustration of the face of a koala wearing yellow framed spectacles with green lenses

19 January 2016

Whether you’re celebrating 26 January 2016 by swimming at the beach, firing up the BBQ or watching fireworks, this Australia Day there’s one way to make sure you are part of celebrations across the nation – with an exclusive Australia Day Twitter emoji.

For the first time ever, you can Tweet using the #AustraliaDay to generate a new emoji created especially for Australia Day 2016. The new Australia Day Emoji - unveiled at a launch in Canberra today – is available exclusively on Twitter and provides yet another way to share Australia Day with friends, family and the world. Each time the hashtag '#AustraliaDay' is used on Twitter, the image of a Koala wearing green and gold 'shades' will automatically be added to the Tweet.

In what has become an annual showcase of how Australians spend Australia Day, the National Australia Day Council, the National Museum of Australia and Twitter Australia will again gather together Twitter messages and photos for a live digital exhibition hosted by the National Museum on 26 January 2016. The exhibition can also be viewed online at www.your.australiaday.org.au.

Since its inception in 2013, the #AustraliaDay Your Way project has gathered together more than 200,000 Tweets in the Twitter Time Capsule, which serves as a permanent digital showcase of our national day at the National Museum of Australia. This year, it’s expected tens of thousands of Tweets from across Australia and the world will be collected for the live digital exhibition and added to the time capsule.

On 26 January 2016, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra will display a live exhibition of #AustraliaDay Tweets on a large digital screen at the Museum which can be viewed by visitors on Australia Day.

1/3 Australians such as singer Reece Mastin, legendary marathon runner and Victorian Australia Day Ambassador Steve Moneghetti, ACT 2016 Young Australian of the Year Nip Wijewickrema, Northern Territory Australia Day Ambassador and youth advocate Amy Hetherington, Tasmanian Australia Day Ambassador, author Posie Graeme-Evans and NSW Australia Day Ambassador, fashion expert Donny Galella, were testing the new Emoji with selfies and messages at the unveiling of the image at the National Museum in Canberra today.

Reece Mastin is already planning how he’ll share his view of 26 January with his 265,000 Twitter followers.

"Like many Australians, I celebrate Australia Day with my family and friends at home with a barbecue and some great Aussie rock music," said Reece.

"It's a chance to connect with the people who are important to me. It's my family's 10th year in Australia and we really see Australia Day as an opportunity to be thankful we're part of a great country that welcomes others.

“Everyone is blessed to share in the delights of Australia, no matter where they've travelled from, because together we make this country great.

"You might see some photos of my friends and I jamming in the backyard!"

"I’ll be looking for all the posts with #AustraliaDay to see how everyone is spending their day on 26 January."

Marathon legend and Victorian Australia Day Ambassador Steve Moneghetti will spend Australia Day in the town of Castlemaine, Victoria.

"It’s great to go out to a community on Australia Day and be welcomed and embraced into somewhere I've never been before. It’s very symbolic of Australia I think – that an outsider is welcomed with open arms into a town or community and made to feel part of the place and involved," said Steve.

"This Australia Day I’m going to Castlemaine in Victoria where I'm lucky to be involved in formalities with new citizens, but I'm really looking forward to having a cup of tea and a scone with the locals and having a chat and getting to know more about their area and who they are and what they do and learning about a different place.

"I'm a big Twitter user and I'll be sharing my Australia Day experience with photos so everyone can see Castlemaine and how they celebrate. I really like being able to share my experiences with people on social media and I like seeing what other people are doing and their points on view – it's another, bigger, broader way to have something like Australia Day as a shared moment.

"And it's a way to see things differently through other people's experiences and viewpoints – I actually take a moment to really look at people's posts and absorb what they’ve shared and it gives me pause for thought, which is a good thing. It broadens your thinking and your ideas."

According to Twitter, there has been a 50% increase in the number of #AustraliaDay mentions over the last two years.

"Many Australians will be out and about on 26 January, celebrating the day with friends and family. This is an opportunity for them to be part of a national digital snapshot that captures the great diversity of our nation and just how colourful Australia Day is," said Julie Inman Grant, Twitter Director of Public Policy, Australia SE Asia.

"Whatever you're doing on Australia Day, snap a photo or shoot a video and Tweet it with the hashtag #AustraliaDay to generate the emoji and get your Tweets captured in the Twitter time capsule."

National Museum of Australia Director Dr Mathew Trinca, said the Tweets will be curated into a live digital exhibition highlighting the diverse ways in which Australians commemorate Australia Day.

"We encourage all Australians to share images of how they mark Australia Day 2016 to provide a permanent visual record of our cultural richness – these images will be stored in a time capsule at the National Museum in perpetuity," said Dr Trinca.

To view Tweets and images from previous Australia Days, visit www.your.australiaday.org.au.

For more information and interviews please contact:

Media Opps
Nicole Browne, 0414 673 762
Zannie Abbott, 0418 274 291

National Museum of Australia
Tracy Sutherland, 0438 620 710
Ashley Grimmer, 0409 461 619