Captain Cook and Queen Victoria monuments defaced before Australia Day protests

A statue of British explorer Captain James Cook in Melbourne was sawn off by the ankles and vandalised ahead of protests on Australia Day, the country’s national day.

A statue of Queen Victoria was also vandalised, with red paint splattered across it overnight on 25 January.

Both were left with the tag “The colony will fall” spray-painted on them.

Australia Day takes place annually on 26 January, commemorating the arrival of British ships carrying convicts in 1788, marking the beginning of British settlement in current-day Sydney.

Indigenous activists refer to it as “Invasion Day” however and will hold protests and ceremonies across the country on Friday.