The Invasion Day march in Sydney has ended in dramatic circumstances with the arrest of a naked female protester.
Thousands of Sydneysiders marched the streets of the CBD on Sunday, where they demanded the date of Australia Day be moved from January 26.
Surrounded by a large crowd of shocked onlookers at Victoria Park in Broadway, one woman attracted attention by stripping off her clothes to only be wearing just a pair of socks and scarf around her head.
Photos show the dark-haired woman being spoken to police.
As temperatures soared into the mid 30s, tensions boiled over as the woman allegedly resisted arrest before she was escorted into the back of police van.
A woman tried to keep cool at the Invasion Day rally in Sydney by taking her clothes off
‘A woman, 38, was taken to Mascot Police Station, where she was charged with willful and obscene exposure, failing to obey police directions and resisting arrest,’ a NSW Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘She was bailed to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on February 17.’
The spokeswoman was unaware of any other arrests at the Sydney rally, despite a high police presence.
Surrounded by police and shocked onlookers, the naked protester was later charged with willful and obscene exposure, failing to obey police directions and resisting arrest
Tensions boiled over as the woman allegedly tried to resist police arrest at the Sydney rally
Thousands of others across the nation gathered for protests demanding the date of Australia Day be changed, while the rest of the country celebrates.
Rallies and marches coincided with official events throughout the day with hundreds of people already massed in the CBDs of major cities.
Indigenous South Sydney NRL stars Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell were among the attendees at the Sydney rally, who marched from Sydney’s Hyde Park to Camperdown.
A protester was arrested in Brisbane after he rushed the stage at the Queens Gardens rally shouting ‘who do you think you are’.
He was pushed off the stage in the chaos that followed and led away by police outside the treasury buildings.
The naked female protester looked distressed as tensions with police escalated in the heat
The woman was still naked as she was put into back of a police van and taken to the station
Thousands have begun gathering for protests demanding the date of Australia Day be changed, while the rest of the country celebrates
A protester was arrested in Brisbane after he rushed the stage at the Queens Gardens rally shouting ‘who do you think you are’
One speaker at a rally in Sydney’s Hyde Park said January 26 was a ‘bad day, a hurtful day’, but that Aboriginal people and their supporters were there in solidarity
South Sydney NRL players Latrell Mitchell (centre) and Cody Walker (right) march with protesters in the Sydney CBD
Protesters in Sydney gathered in Hyde Park and called for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody, referencing the abuse of inmates at Don Dale juvenile detention facility
A young girl holds a protest sign as she marches down Elizabeth Street in Sydney with thousands of others
Numerous banners and signs were carried along with Aboriginal flags held aloft or used as capes and clothing
A rally banner rejects the idea that Captain Cook discovered Australia because there were already Aboriginals living there
Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships into Port Jackson on January 26, 1788.
Many protesters at rallies and marches across Australia wore clothing bearing the Aboriginal flag, and carrier signs or banners with anti-Australia Day slogans.
A rally in Sydney started at 11am in Hyde Park with smoking ceremony before speakers called for the date of Australia Day to be changed.
They also demanded more Aboriginal land ownership and an end to indigenous deaths in custody.
Thousands have begun gathering for protests demanding the date of Australia Day be changed, while the rest of the country celebrates
Protesters pose with a series of signs in the Queens Gardens in Brisbane near the city hall and treasury buildings
Three-year-old Jre Simpson from Moree is seen during the Invasion Day rally in Brisbane
Jesse Randall was another rallying in Brisbane as hundreds of people massed in the CBDs of major cities
Three Aboriginal men raise their fists in solidarity while painted in traditional fashion during the march in Sydney
An Aboriginal Elder leads the march down Elizabeth Street in Sydney during a protest march on January 26
Protesters gather in Hyde Park, Sydney, and listen to speakers before the march through the city begins
A rally in Sydney started at 11am in Hyde Park with smoking ceremony before speakers called for the date of Australia Day to be changed
The Sydney march seen from above as it heads through the streets of the CBD after leaving Hyde Park earlier
The front of the march as marshals in hi-vis jackets clear the way and photographers snap pictures of the first matchers
A shocking poster distributed on social media calling for the Australian flag to be burned on Australia Day
Bundjalung elder Gwen Williams-Heckling said January 26 was a ‘bad day, a hurtful day’, but that Aboriginal people and their supporters were there in solidarity.
‘Together we draw strength and celebrate our continuing culture despite our dispossession. We need a new day because we can never celebrate the day of invasion,’ she said.
The protesters, including South Sydney NRL players Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker, then marched through the Sydney CBD down Elizabeth Street.
Before the sun even rose on Australia Day, mixed emotions about the national holiday were on full display in Melbourne.
Hundreds of people attended a dawn service marking what they say is Invasion Day – which aims to counter celebration of the January 26 anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788.
The event commemorated all Indigenous people who died in conflict with white settlers during colonisation and others who more recently died in custody.
Hundreds of people including this young boy attended a dawn service in Melbourne marking what they say is Invasion Day
Protesters gather at the Melbourne Parliament to hear speeches before marching through the city centre
A closer look at the massed Melbourne protesters gearing up to march through the city over ‘Invasion Day’
Protesters yell chants as they match through the Melbourne CBD, holding banners and signs
Many of the signs at the Melbourne protest, and elsewhere, were hard hitting and even vulgar, in line with their demands
Among the more extreme signs at the Melbourne protest was this one that demanded Australia itself be abolished
Young women joined the protest in Melbourne, using sticks to make noise and the march progressed through the city
The rally in Sydney started at 11am in Hyde Park with smoking ceremony before speakers called for the date of Australia Day to be changed
Protesters march along Pitt Street in the Sydney CBD after leaving Hyde Park
Danny Lim, famous in Sydney for his oddball signs, holds up one mocking Scott Morrison and another calling for peace and respect for Aboriginals in Hyde Park during the protest march
An Aboriginal man holds up a sign bearing the name of his tribe he says has been resisting since before European settlement 232 years ago
A man carries his child with a mask fitted to his face as he poses for a photo amid the march in Sydney
A variety of signs on display at the march in Melbourne that rallied outside the Victorian Parliament
A group of Aboriginal protesters with matching shirts take a break from yelling slogans into a megaphone to pose for a photo
A protester in front of the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne advocates burning the Australian flag amid the protest
The location, at the Kings Domain Resting Place, is the commemorative burial site of 38 Victorian Aboriginal people whose remains were repatriated.
The annual Invasion Day protest march will be held later in Melbourne’s CBD at the same time as the city’s official Australia Day Parade.
More than 2,000 people will be part of the official parade, celebrating the state’s cultural diversity.
Before the parade, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Victorian Governor General Linda Dessau and others will attend an official flag raising ceremony.
Celebrations will roll on with the annual Australia Day Festival at Kings Domain Gardens from 11am and evening entertainment at the Docklands.
Musicians Mitch Tambo, Mantra and Tanya George will be among performers.
An Aboriginal man leading the Sydney protest raises his fist while behind him a banner memorialises a young man who died in police custody
A frequent slogan of Australia Day protesters is displayed on this sign during the march through Sydney
Two children with Aboriginal flag-coloured masks are taken along to the Sydney protest on Australia Day
Another child is taken along and hoisted on a man’s shoulders as she waves a ‘loud and deadly’ flag
Some protesters ironically hold up an image of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, a South American revolutionary and mass murderer
The event commemorated all Indigenous people who died in conflict with white settlers during colonisation and others who more recently died in custody
Protesters in Canberra march from Civic to Parliament House to confront politicians over changing the date
Protesters march over the Victoria Bridge in Brisbane after a rally in Queens Gardens descended into chaos with a protester arrested
A man on a motorbike joins the Brisbane protest alongside others from traditionally dressed Aboriginals to white allies
A man shields his face with an Aboriginal flag mask while another holds up a ‘black power’ sign during the Brisbane march
A fireworks show originally planned for the event was cancelled earlier this month because staff at Parks Victoria – which support the display – have been flat out dealing with the state’s bushfire crisis.
In Sydney, Australia Day began with the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Australia Day this year comes during a ‘difficult time’ as the state comes to terms with the impact of the devastating fires, the lives lost and the impact on wildlife and the land.
The premier called for renewed public discussion about how the ancient knowledge of Aboriginal people can be used to better protect the environment and communities.
‘These devastating bushfires encourage us as a community to reflect on Aboriginal practices that sustained this land for millennia,’ she said.
Protesters rally in Melbourne outside the Victorian Parliament listening to speeches before they begin a march through the CBD
Members of the LGBTI community show their solidarity with Aboriginals who oppose the January 26 date for Australia Day
Protesters refer to Australia Day as a ‘day of mourning’ instead of the traditional one of celebration
A sign declares ‘the future is First Nations’ without explanation of what that would look like, as she marches in Melbourne
A Melbourne protester declares ‘we walk on stolen land’ referencing how British settlers took Australia as their own
Protesters wave their fists in the air as they shut down a major intersection in front of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne
This sign lists serious and not-so-serious alternative dates and names for Australia Day other than January 26
The morning ceremony began with a welcome to country by Wiradjuri woman Yvonne Weldon who said January 26 will always be a ‘sombre’ day for Aboriginal people.
She asked everyone present at Barangaroo Reserve to stand for a minute’s silence.
‘On this day 232 years ago it was a beginning of devastation for the First Nations people of this country,’ she sad.
‘Since 1938 this has been a day of mourning for our people, one that has plagued our communities and our families.’
Thousands of Sydneysiders flocked to the beach to celebrate Australia Day by soaking up the sun and enjoying a balmy 31C day
An excited young woman poses with Australian flag- themed glasses and two flags sticking out of her hair, while another woman strikes a pose on the sand
Clutching a ball in his hand, this father wades through the rock pool next to Bondi Beach with his son on his shoulders
This couple brought their dog to the beach to celebrate Australia Day together – but one is holding his phone perilously close to the water
Just off the beach, a shirtless group of friends wearing Australian flags as capes and green and gold hats picked up a few cartons of beer from a bottle shop, and posed with the trolley
Koomurri dancers arrive for the smoking ceremony during the WugulOra Morning Ceremony on Australia Day at Walumil Lawns in Sydney on Australia Day
In Sydney, Australia Day began with the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve
Torres Strait Islanders perform during a vigil on Saturday
Aboriginal Elders perform a cleansing ceremony at Barangaroo in Sydney
The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council chairperson said indigenous people are inclusive of everyone but they aren’t always treated the same way.
She told the ceremony theirs is the oldest living culture in the world.
‘Whether you call this Invasion Day, Survival Day or Australia Day, know this country didn’t begin 232 years ago,’ she said.
‘It was here, we were here before time began.’
After the speeches, the national anthem was sung in both the Eora language and English by the KARI singers and Isaiah Firebrace as the Aboriginal and Australian flags were raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The annual Invasion Day protest march will be held later in Melbourne’s CBD. Pictured: Koomurri dancers watch on as a boat arrives at Walumil Lawns in Sydney on Australia Day
Spectators watch on during a performance on the eve of Australia Day
Spectators attend a vigil on the eve of Australia Day, at Barangaroo in Sydney, Saturday, January 25