WugulOra Morning Ceremony

WugulOra Morning Ceremony is finished

WugulOra Morning Ceremony


26 January 2020
07:45 AM - 08:30 AM


Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, NSW, 2000

Other information

Accessible event

$Free access

Rise with the sun and celebrate the world’s oldest living culture at Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve.

wugulora collage


WugulOra, meaning ‘One Mob’, is a special moment to begin Australia Day.

Actor Luke Carroll will be the Master of Ceremonies as we acknowledge our shared history and the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest living culture.

Witness special performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers and singers, including Isaiah Firebrace, KARI and the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe.

Cleanse the way for new beginnings by taking part in a smoking ceremony – an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke. In Aboriginal culture, this smoke, dependant on which leaves are used, has different healing and cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.

Listen as the national anthem is sung in English and Eora, the local Aboriginal language. Then watch as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the start of Australia Day.


Barangaroo is named after a Cammeraygal woman who was a powerful leader of her people at the time of European colonisation. Her story is an important and empowering part of our shared history – not only for Aboriginal Australians but for the entire nation.

The Eora language

The Aboriginal inhabitants of the place we now call Sydney identified themselves as Eora (pronounced ‘iyora’), meaning simply ‘the people’. The many clans of the Eora nation were united by a common language, while records indicate that there were at least two dialects.

The version of the national anthem sung at the WugulOra Morning Ceremony begins with a verse based on a long extinct Aboriginal language of the Sydney district referred to as ‘the Sydney Language’. 

The Sydney Language is endorsed by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council as an contemporary interpretation of the first conversation and words recorded by Lieutenant William Dawes, an Englishman and naval officer with the First Fleet, with Patyegarang, a young Gadigal woman.

The lyrics are not a direct translation of the English words, but rather substitute meanings that reveal the Eora’s deep connection to the land.


The WugulOra Morning Ceremony includes a designated accessible viewing area, an Auslan interpreter and closed captioning on ABC iview. Find out more on accessibility and inclusion support.


Plan your trip

With road closures in place, the best way to get around is by public transport. Visit transportnsw.info for more details and the most up-to-date information. For real-time info on transport services and disruptions follow @TrainsInfo@SydneyMetro@BusesInfo and @FerriesInfo.

Some buses, ferries and light rail services will be affected by road closures and events. Find out more about services affected.

Stay safe

Be sun-smart, eat well, drink plenty of water and make sure you wear appropriate clothing for summer weather conditions.

BYO-alcohol and glass restrictions apply to some Australia Day event sites. If you do drink, do it responsibly and look after yourself, your mates and your environment.

Remember, Australia Day is for everyone. Ensure you are respectful of other people at all times.

Return and earn

Don’t be a tosser! It it’s not in the bin, it’s on you. Take your eligible bottles and cans to a NSW Return and Earn collection point.

Bring your water bottles to refill at the water stations around Circular Quay.

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