Communities across NSW are being encouraged to come together this Australia Day and stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by bushfires and drought.
On Sunday 26 January, community events will be held across the State with Sydney’s world -renowned Harbour once again taking centre stage with a range of tributes and activities for everyone to come together & mark the day in a way that is right for them.
At today’s official launch, Acting Minister for Multiculturalism, Geoff Lee said Australia Day is about coming together as a community.
“Australians share a unique set of values that define and unite us. They are values based on the spirit of mateship, community, selflessness, sacrifice, courage and resilience,” Mr Lee said.
“They are the same values embodied by our emergency services volunteers who we have all seen band together to courageously and selflessly protect our communities over the past months”
“Australia Day celebrates everyone being part of our community. It’s a day for gathering with family and friends, catching up with our neighbours or attending Australia Day community events around NSW.”
Also announced today was the Australia Day Address speaker for 2020, Grace Brennan, who is the founder of the recent #buyfromthebush campaign. Grace demonstrates how everyday Australians can make extraordinary contributions to the community.
The Address will be delivered in Sydney on Tuesday January 21, and gives a platform for influential and inspiring members of the community to express their unique perspective on the nation’s identity and matters of national importance. This year’s Address will focus on supporting local and regional communities and those affected by drought.
“The bush narrative needed an update, and the story of drought needed to be aptured in a different way – one that called to action and engaged community,” Ms Brennan said.
Australia Day Council of NSW Chair Andrew Parker said he was looking forward to the community coming together to recognise everything that is great about our country.
“This year we want to bring people together to reflect and celebrate the Australian spirit and acknowledge the everyday Australians making a difference to our community. We stand arm in arm, with our mates and for our mates,” he said.
The Australia Day program in Sydney will begin with the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, which will conclude with the singing of the National Anthem in the local Aboriginal language, Eora and English, as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Throughout the day and into the evening, Sydney Harbour will be a buzz of activity on the water, around the foreshore and in the sky with spectacular aerial displays, a Sydney Street Party at The Rocks, the Harbour Parade with decorated vessels, a 21-gun ‘Salute to Australia’ and a truly magical Tug and Yacht Ballet performance.
There will be tributes to the brave men and women who have tirelessly and selflessly protected the community. A group of Rural Fire Service volunteers and their families have been invited onboard HMAS Canberra as part of the day’s Salute to Australia event taking place on Sydney Harbour, where they will receive a personal thanks from the NSW Governor.
This year’s Australia Day Live event at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay will be a night to show the Aussie spirit and celebrate our strength. Our national day is about coming together even in times of extreme hardship.
On the night, the audience at the Sydney Opera House forecourt will include hundreds of emergency services personnel, volunteers and their families who will be invited to enjoy the event and also gives the people of NSW an opportunity to show appreciation for their extraordinary heroic efforts.
The line-up at Australia Day Live will let songs and lyrics tell their stories, while creating an atmosphere of optimism and togetherness in a spectacular and heartfelt concert for all involved.
Aussie music icons John Williamson, Vanessa Amorosi, The Original Seekers, Eurovision star Isaiah Firebrace, along with rockers Eskimo Joe, singing star Christine Anu, the 2019 Voice winner Diana Rouvas, opera supremo Daniel Belle, talented indigenous vocal group KARI, and world-renowned didgeridoo player William Barton will move the crowd with their epic ballads, including patriotic and unifying songs such as ‘I Am Australian’. Artists will be accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Australia Day Live at Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House is a unique concert taking place both on land and water, featuring live musical performances choreographed to a flotilla of yachts, jet-skis, fly boarders and a perfectly synchronised pyrotechnics display on the Harbour.
Australia Day in NSW Creative Director John Foreman OAM said his vision for the 2020 concert is to pay tribute to the nation by showcasing diverse talent from across the country.
“Australia Day is time to celebrate our diversity, and to seek stories, music and performances that help bring us together during what is a very difficult time for our country. We are bringing together some of our best and most successful artists, each with their own unique story and experiences. We hope that the show adds greater meaning to our national day.
Free tickets to experience this unmissable event from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will be available on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at 10.00am through http://www.australiaday.com.au. The show will also be broadcast live on ABC TV and iView from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Spectators can head down to Circular Quay and join the 60,000 strong expected audience at one of the many vantage points.
This free and unique Australia Day event is produced by the NSW Government and The Australia Day Council of NSW and brought to you by Destination NSW.
For more information on Australia Day in NSW, please visit www.australiaday.com.au.
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Media Release: Australia Day In Sydney