Territory Day 1995

1 July 1995

Territorians, those who identify as citizens of Australia’s Northern Territory, celebrate Territory Day on 1 July. This date marks the Northern Territory achieving self-government (from the Commonwealth) on 1 July 1978. This is the only day of the year, apart from the Chinese New Year and New Year's Eve, when fireworks are permitted notwithstanding the Darwin Kalymnian community celebrate Greek Easter with dynamite. Territory Day is also a date for naturalization of new citizens of Australia. In 1995 the naturalization ceremony took place on the Esplanade followed by the Chief Minister's Reception in the Great Hall at Parliament House. The Chief Minister presented a memento and welcomed the new Australians in his capacity as Chief Minister and Minister for Ethnic Affairs. Territory Day is also the occasion Awards of Senior Territorian, Territorian and Young Territorian of the Year are announced. Chief Minister Shane Stone presenting Hughen McConaghy Territorian of the Year Award. Hughen McConaghy recognised the importance of growing local food and ecosystems in remote Northern Territory communities. At the time he was developing a new approach to education (and health) in 17 aboriginal communities as a teacher and eventually headmaster. Through developing what he called “constructive learning environments”, he was able to teach English and literacy through building vegetable gardens. The kids and the community learnt while making money and stocking the store. For this ground-breaking work, he was awarded Northern Territorian of the year.

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