From Dawn to Dusk - Australia Day encourages all to Reflect, Respect and Celebrate

The Australia Day 2022 program will be inspiring and respectful, rich in culture and heritage, and inclusive of all citizens with the NSW Government and The Australia Day Council of NSW (ADCNSW) committed to hosting a COVID-safe day for everyone.

As the sun rises on Australia Day in Sydney, First Nations artwork will be projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House, and throughout the day the Harbour program will see dressed up ferries and a buzzing parade of vessels take over Sydney Harbour, with the finale to be a spectacular outdoor concert with fireworks spanning Circular Quay and projections on the sails, paying tribute to all Australians.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure MP said our national day in NSW will celebrate our resilience and unity, while reflecting on the remarkable ways our communities have responded in these challenging times.

“The NSW Government recognises it is still an incredibly difficult time for so many across NSW. I hope that our Australia Day celebrations provide everyone with the optimism and normality that we need as we learn to live with COVID-19,” Mr Coure said.

“This Australia Day, everyone is encouraged to Reflect, Respect and Celebrate our nation and our people — it is an opportunity to open our hearts, respect our differences, and celebrate our strength, our generosity and our strong sense of community.

“It’s a day where we can acknowledge the significant contributions that everyone makes to our nation, from First Nations Australians who have lived here for 65,000 years and everyday Australians doing extraordinary things to keep us safe, to our newest citizens who bring richness and strength from  many cultures.

“But Australia Day means different things to different people, and I encourage everyone to mark the day in a way that’s meaningful to them.”

Like all events, the program may be adjusted as the Government continues to monitor the situation. It is important that we mark the day in a safe and responsible way.

Much-loved Australia Day traditions like citizenship ceremonies, awards, outdoor BBQs and activities will take place across the state with over a 100 Ambassadors joining the festivities. COVID-Safe planning has meant that people can still enjoy the spirit of Australia Day. The outdoor Sydney program will champion the vibrant and diverse state of NSW and reignite Sydney Harbour as it backdrops an uplifting and inspirational national day.

At dawn, the Sydney Opera House sails will be illuminated with First Nations artwork, by Pitjantjara Artist David Miller, based in Uluru. The Australian National and Australian Aboriginal flags will be raised together on the Harbour Bridge in a symbol of unity, recognition and inclusion.

Recognise the importance of the world’s oldest living culture – WugulOra (meaning ‘One mob’) at Barangaroo Reserve, and witness this timeless morning ceremony of cleansing, reflecting and connecting with First Nations people. This moving event invites everyone to acknowledge and learn from the stories of our First Peoples.

Yvonne Weldon - Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and Deputy Chair of the ADCNSW said Australia Day is about recognition and striving to move the conversation forward by acknowledging the diversity of views, listening, connecting and embracing a collective voice.

“It is important that First Nations culture is reflected in the program, but equally as important is much of the Sydney program is guided by First Nations representatives and features many artists showcasing the richness and historical significance of culture through modern performances and story-telling,” Ms Weldon said.

“An important part of Reflect, Respect and Celebrate, is reflect and respect, this includes the importance of acknowledging and commemorating First Nations impacts, how this will continue
until we have truth telling and a true commitment to reconciling in all we do,” she said.

Throughout the day, Sydney Harbour in all its glory will burst with colour, spectator cheers and action with iconic favourites returning in 2022 including the Harbour Parade and a new-look Ferrython celebrating our multicultural community and the vessels namesakes.

Overhead, the thrill of aerial Defence displays tie in perfectly with the Salute to Australia, which celebrates the extraordinary contributions of homegrown heroes and new citizens of our great state.

Many migrants will mark Australia Day by attending the Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony and pledging their loyalty to community and country.

The crowning jewel of the Sydney program is the Australia Day Live outdoor, free-ticketed concert at  the Sydney Opera House Forecourt combined with a spectacular land and water show spanning Circular Quay and the Harbour. The musical and fireworks bonanza brings together the many elements of what it means to be Australian.

An all-star line-up includes Casey Donovan, Shane Howard, William Barton and Isaiah Firebrace, Emma Donovan, INXS founding member turned solo artist Andrew Farriss, rock musician Jon Stevens, country singers Amber Lawrence, Hayley Jensen, Kirsty Lee Akers and Aleyce Simmonds performing a stunning reimagined version of True Blue as a tribute to all Australians, tenor Mark Vincent, opera artist Josh Piterman, the KARI singers, and Koomurri dancers, all backed up by John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra.

Australia Day Creative Director John Foreman OAM said: “The day is about celebrating and shining a spotlight on our diversity. The concert, with its powerful performances and tributes, adds greater meaning to our national day and celebrates the Australian spirit.”

Limited free tickets to experience this unmissable outdoor event from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will be available on Tuesday, 18 January 2022 at 10.00am.

Spectators can head down to the Circular Quay Foreshore and join the atmosphere and spread across the many vantage points. No tickets are required for the foreshore vantage points, people are encouraged to get in early, physically distance and plan ahead.

Australia Day Live will also be broadcast live on ABC TV and ABC iview from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. This event is produced by the NSW Government and The Australia Day Council of NSW and brought to you by Destination NSW and The National Australia Day Council.

Arrangements for Australia Day in Sydney are in line with COVID-19 Safe measures and continue to be subject to health advice.

For more information on Australia Day in NSW, please visit

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit the NSW Government website.

(Incudes interviews by spokespeople and artists, new Citizens and B-roll footage from Australia Day events).

MEDIA: Australia Day Council of NSW: [email protected]

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