The Australia Day Dilemma: A Guide for Tech Industry Leaders

In recent years, a crucial conversation has emerged within Australian society, resonating particularly in the technology sector. As we progress through 2024, tech directors, founders, and HR managers are increasingly engaged in a debate of national significance: the observance of Australia Day and its impact on our Indigenous communities.

Understanding the Complexity

The 26th of January, known as Australia Day, commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in 1788. However, this date also serves as a reminder of the injustices faced by Indigenous Australians, leading many to refer to it as Invasion Day. This dichotomy presents a unique challenge to Australian businesses, especially those in the forward-thinking tech industry.

Navigating the Ethical Terrain

In the tech sector, where innovation and diversity are key drivers, the Australia Day debate is not merely about recognising a public holiday but about demonstrating a deep understanding and respect for the diverse cultural heritage of our workforce, including the significant Indigenous population.

Big Wave Digital: Pioneers in Thought Leadership

In this context, Big Wave Digital stands out as a thought leader. Their engagement with this issue exemplifies their role not just in talent acquisition but also in nurturing inclusive and empathetic workplace cultures.

The Responsibility of Tech Leaders

As influencers in the tech industry, we have a responsibility to foster a culture of inclusivity and understanding. This involves initiating and supporting open discussions about Australia Day and its implications in our workplaces.

Strategies for Addressing the Issue

  1. Promote Constructive Dialogue: Encourage environments where employees can respectfully share their views on the observance of Australia Day.
  2. Educational Initiatives: Organise sessions with Indigenous community leaders or historians to provide insight into the historical context of the 26th of January.
  3. Flexible Holiday Policies: Consider implementing policies that allow employees to choose whether or not to work on Australia Day, respecting individual preferences and beliefs.
  4. Active Community Participation: Engage in events that honour both the history of Australia and the contributions of its Indigenous peoples.


The path forward involves listening, learning, and leading with empathy and respect. Big Wave Digital exemplifies this approach, demonstrating that recruitment leadership extends beyond talent placement to shaping ethical and inclusive workplace cultures.

In summary, as we reflect on the significance of Australia Day within our organisations, let us strive to contribute thoughtfully to this ongoing national conversation. Our industry’s strength lies not just in technological innovation but also in its ability to foster unity and understanding.

The future is bright, let’s go there together!

Thanks for reading,

Cheers Keiran

Let us help you build a Brilliant team in Digital.

Big Wave Digital are experts in Digital Recruitment Sydney

At Big Wave Digital , Sydney’s leading digital, blockchain and technical recruitment agency, we have deep connections, experience and proven expertise, and the ability to achieve a win for all parties in the challenging recruiting process. We can connect to highly coveted digital and tech talent with the world’s best employers. To discover more, just give us a call at (02) 9380 4431.

Keiran Hathorn is the CEO & Founder of Big Wave Digital. A Sydney based niche Digital, Blockchain & Technology recruitment company. Keiran leads a high performance, experienced recruitment team, assisting companies of all sizes secure the best talent.

Keiran Hathorn


Share this blog