One of the great traditions of Australia Day is its citizenship ceremonies and around the country, more than 16,000 people from around the world will become Australians citizens at more than 300 ceremonies. But Australia Day has much more to offer than just fireworks and citizenship ceremonies.
The National Australia Day Council says thousands of Australia Day events – from formal commemorations to fun celebrations – are held by communities around the country each year and are attended by almost six million* Australians.
“The variety of celebrations and commemorations reflects the diversity of our society and also the Australian sense of humour and laconic pride,” said Warren Pearson, CEO of the National Australia Day Council. “An enormous amount of work goes into these celebrations which is a great testament to the community bonds in many towns and suburbs.”
Australia Day events around the nation include:
- Australia Day Fun Run/Walk at Mindil Beach from 7am followed by Aussie sausage sizzle.
- Australia Day Ute Run finishes at Greyhound Race Course and includes annual prizes for best ute decoration.
- Underage@Discovery 1pm-5pm gives 13-17 year olds a chance to burn some energy on the dance floor and celebrate safely with friends.
Barkly Shire (Tennant Creek)
- Australia Day at the Lake includes a free barbecue and fun for all ages – Weetbix eating competition, thong throwing, leaky bucket race, egg throwing, raft race and more.
- Historic Daly Waters pub plays host to a flag raising, cricket game, and thong throwing.
- Family fun at the Katherine Sport and Rec Club includes the Jack Russell race, lawn mower racing, pie eating competition, face painting and sausage sizzle.
- The annual Island of Origin Football match will take place at Stanley Tipiloura Oval on Bathurst Island along with free activities for kids and adults and an award presentation.
- Australia Day Festival at Parklands, South Bank features interactive art, drum and beatbox workshops, the search for Brisbane’s fastest prawn peeler, live music, multicultural entertainment and fireworks.
- Visit by Australia Day Ambassador, photographer Tim Page who will take part in awards presentations, the lamington relay, sausage sizzle and coconut bowls.
Burke Shire (Gulf of Carpentaria)
- Australia Day celebrations include pin the tail on the Wallaby, the great Vegemite cook off and the best-decorated thong competition.
NEW SOUTH WALES
- City highlight events include the Woggan-Ma-Gule Ceremony to honour the traditional Gadigal custodians of the Eora Nation; Sydney’s Biggest Backyard in Hyde Park with the Herefords Great Aussie BBQ featuring Hank the Hereford Bull.
- The Harbour will come alive with the Tall Ships Race and Darling Harbour will once again plays host to an Australia Day Spectacular with a special performance from Australian Idol 2009, Stan Walker.
- Celebrate Australia 5pm-8pm in The Domain is a brand new event featuring Yvonne Kenny, Jon English, William McInnes, Gavin Lockley and the Rum Corps choir and orchestra.
- Aussie Legend Competition and Chinese Lantern Procession
- Fishathon at the Penrith Regatta Centre 6am-1pm. A fun catch and release fishing competition with prizes to be won.
- Official ceremony at Armidale racecourse at 11am, followed by bush poetry, tug-o-war, wool bale rolling and more.
- Cool off at the Australia Day pool party with Inflatable obstacle courses at Condobolin public pool
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
- On Australia Day Eve (25 Jan) Canberra will play host to the Australia Day Live concert at Parliament House, including the announcement of the Australians of the Year for 2010.
- Kids entertainment at Commonwealth Park 12noon-6pm with New Dorothy the Dinosaur Show, free jumping castles and rides, skateboarding and BMX demonstrations.
- Live music at Regatta Point 6pm-9pm finished off with spectacular fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin.
- The Australian Unity Great Australia Day Swim is a 1.2km Open Water Swim on Australia Day. The course starts at Middle Brighton Pier, goes around the Royal Brighton Yacht Club marina and breakwater and finishes inside the iconic Middle Brighton Baths.
- Australia Day@TheBowl – Jai Ho!, Sidney Myer Music Bowl 4pm-6pm. Australia coincides with Indian Republic Day so Melbourne is celebrating these two great cultures together with music and entertainment from Victoria’s many Indian communities – folk dances, dhol drummers, rangoli floor art competition, classical Indian music and a Bollywood bonanza!
- Australia Day Ride To Remember through The Grampians is organised by the Ararat branch of Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation and is open to all registered motorcycles and licensed riders. Pillion passengers and guests also welcome. There are two rides you can enter, both starting at 9.30am. Also includes display of vintage & antique motorcycles plus the Ford GT Club.
- Australia Day breakfast on Bellerive Boardwalk, Kangaroo Bay. Includes flag raising and citizenship ceremony, live music, kids’ activities, celebrity quiz and citizen’s awards.
- A Day on the Beach, Kingston. Free sporting activities, sandcastle competition, sailing, swimming.
- Henley on the Mersey’s year celebration includes gumboot throwing competition, great Aussie dummy spit, kids’ triathlon, dog training exhibition, model off road car racing.
- The Splash Festival at Bridport all long weekend provides interactive entertainment with a difference – trapeze, mobile rock climbing wall, stilt walking and more.
- City parade from 6pm, entertainment in Elder Park 6pm-10pm with Vanessa Amorosi, James Morrison and Carl Riseley, fireworks 9:30pm
- Fundraising barbecue for Royal Flying Doctor Service 9am-11am, visit by Australia Day Ambassador Michael O’Connell (Commissioner for Victims’ Rights), citizenship ceremony all at Old Timers Mine car park.
- Australia Day Spectacular at Waikerie Football Oval includes Australia Day and Community Awards presentation, combined church service, wine tasting, food stalls, kids’ fun park, live music and fireworks. Proceeds from the event go back into the community services, clubs and facilities to improve the region.
- Havaianas Australia Day Thong Challenge 2010 on Cottesloe Beach – be part of the attempt to break the record of 908 people joined end-to-end in the ocean on inflatable thongs.
- Too Solid Music Festival and Skyworks. Major celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music will be staged in the Supreme Court gardens and feature music across a range of genres including hip-hop, soul, contemporary, funk and traditional Aboriginal dance. The City Of Perth Skyworks display will begin at 8pm over lighting up the skies above Perth.
Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire
- Free breakfast for residents 7.30 – 8.45am. Demonstrations by local Spinners Group, Tai Chi, Didgeridoo Player, Wandering Minstrels. Activities until 11.00am include flying fox, climbing wall, mini golf. Official Citizenship Ceremony, includes Traditional Welcome, Premier’s Active Citizenship Awards, Shire and Community awards, with Heritage Country Choir entertaining.
- Special City of Fremantle Citizenship ceremony followed by the announcement of the 2010 Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Awards at Esplanade Park 4.00pm. Entertainment from 4:30pm including face painting, balloon twisting, Hilsy the hills hoist, Dynamic Little Aussies, WA Samba, Blue Shaddy, live music, rides, didgeridoo player and a free sausage sizzle then fireworks at7.45pm.
To find out what Australia Day celebrations are on in your area visit the website www.australiaday.org.au
* National Australia Day Council research 2007
Source: Australia Day Council