Academics pursuing research on Australian history and culture are being offered a new round of government grants.
Just three per cent of commonwealth grants awarded over the past decade went to research projects on Australian issues.
Education Minister Dan Tehan wants to build a better understanding of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture has impacted modern Australia.
“We hope this new initiative will bring a greater understanding of our Australian indigenous history, our heritage and the success of multiculturalism,” he said on Monday.
The $12 million program was announced as most people took the day off work for the Australia Day public holiday.
The annual occasion was once again marked with celebrations, protests and renewed calls to change the date.
January 26 marks the date the men of the First Fleet raised the Union Jack at Sydney Cove to signal the beginning of the British colony.
So to many indigenous and non-indigenous people, it is a day of sorrow and mourning.
The Wattle Day Association wants the date shifted to the first day of spring.
“[It] would recognise our connection to the beautiful and bountiful land that sustains us,” association president Suzette Searle said.
Ms Searle said the day should have a positive association for all Australians, including indigenous people.
“Unfortunately that is not what January 26 offers.”