This Australia Day in Sydney begins with reflective and respectful moments, with a celebration of culture, heritage and identity in all aspects of the program.
As the sun rises on 26 January, a reflective moment will take place to honour the nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodians with the sails of the Sydney Opera House illuminated with First Nations’ artwork. The Dawn Reflection coincides with the Australian National Flag and Australian Aboriginal Flag being raised together on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a symbol of unity, recognition and inclusion – a symbol that became permanent in July this year.
WugulOra is a timeless morning ceremony of cleansing, reflecting, and connecting with First Nations people. This moving event invites everyone to come together to truly acknowledge and learn from the stories of our First Peoples. This year marks the 20th anniversary of a morning ceremony on 26 January and First Nations involvement with Australia Day in Sydney.
The annual GIO Oz Day 10K race at The Rocks is one of the greatest wheelchair road races in the world, and this marks 34 years of this great Australia Day favourite.
Throughout the day, Sydney Harbour, in all its glory, will burst with colour, spectator cheers and action with iconic crowd favourites including the Harbour Parade, Ferrython, the Tall Ships Race and much more.
At midday the Salute to Australia and Defence Force flyover honours the extraordinary contributions of many homegrown heroes and recognises the newest citizens of our great state in a ceremony that signals hope and optimism.
There is also plenty of fun and free entertainment and activities at Overseas Passenger Terminal with the Mega Kidz Zone with an inflatable Ninja obstacle course, a massive maze and wheelchair basketball and Family Fun with Surf Life Saving NSW on the MCA Lawn, plus The Rocks and Darling Harbour for the whole family to enjoy this Australia Day.
The pinnacle of the Sydney program is the Australia Day Live free outdoor concert at the Sydney Opera House forecourt. The concert showcases First Nations truth-telling and powerful performances celebrating culture and heritage – and can be enjoyed from all around Circular Quay. This unmissable concert features incredible musical performances, a fireworks spectacular, projections on the sails of the Opera House, a lit vessel parade, dazzling acrobatics of jet-skiers, fly-boarders and parachutists. Performers include Casey Donovan, Dami Im, Christine Anu, William Barton, Isaiah Firebrace, Anthony Callea, Tim Campbell, James Morrison and more!
There are plenty of ways to mark Australia Day, whether it’s attending local community events, supporting a local business, buying locally made products, booking a cruise on Sydney Harbour or a table at a CBD restaurant or watching the Australia Day Live and WugulOra broadcast on ABC TV or ABC iview.
Visit www.australiaday.com.au for more details and a full event program listing. You can also sign up to the newsletter for ticketing and event updates and other ways you can participate.