Reflect on the Australian spirit – a different Australia Day 2021 across NSW and Sydney

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said our city and state have always taken centre stage on Australia Day with our inspiring national program. This will continue but in a COVID-Safe way.

“The Australia Day 2021 program in NSW strikes that balance with a smaller number of events, careful crowd management plans and plenty of ways to engage online and through TV broadcasts,” Minister Ayres said.

To show our appreciation, NSW frontline workers will be offered passes to attend the Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. This concert will be broadcast live to the nation on ABC TV for everyone to enjoy.

Across NSW, many councils are still planning Australia Day activities for their communities, and it is the responsibility of each Local Government Area to ensure their events are COVID Safe and in line with Public Health Orders. Recent changes to Public Health Orders will allow Councils to host larger outdoor community events and Citizenship Ceremonies.

The Sydney CBD program will have significant changes to key events. The Sydney Harbour daytime program will not be taking place as COVID Safe crowd management around the foreshore cannot be guaranteed.

The Australia Day 2021 program will include:

  • The WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve which is a free ticketed event for those who register. This event is a reminder that Australia’s First Nation’s people are the foundation of our nation’s story and continue to maintain the world's oldest living culture. The event will be broadcast live on ABC TV or streamed on ABC
  • A Salute to Australia at Government House, Sydney at midday, which will be a broadcast-only event with invited frontline guests in attendance. This will consist of a 21-gun ‘Salute to Australia’ by the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, an address from the Governor of NSW, a citizenship ceremony and stories showcasing the extraordinary contributions of our frontline personnel. Elements of the ceremony will be broadcast on the
  • The Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Race in The
  • In the evening, the Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will honour our frontline personnel who will be invited to attend the concert as a way to thank them for their tireless efforts. The broader community is invited to watch the live national broadcast on ABC TV or stream on ABC

As with arrangements for New Year’s Eve, if you plan to attend Circular Quay in the evening of Australia Day, you will need to have a restaurant booking or hold a ticket for Australia Day Live.

The precinct will close to the general public from 5pm. A similar COVID pass system that is rolling out for NYE will be in place for Australia Day, with further details to be provided in January 2021.

Minister Ayres is calling on all Sydneysiders and NSW residents this Australia Day to engage with local communities, support local businesses, celebrate with friends and family at cafes and restaurants in a COVID-safe way and discover NSW’s backyard with a road trip.

“More NSW residents out and about this summer will deliver a vital boost to the NSW economy. It is a time to support each other by visiting, staying, eating and shopping locally, each one of us can give back to these communities and make a difference. We also welcome residents from other states and territories,” Mr Ayres said.

Australia Day Council of NSW Chair, Mr Andrew Parker said Australia Day is always a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit, and the best of this country – it will also be a special opportunity to acknowledge the resilience of Australians, especially our front-line workers.

“Our unique Australian values provide inspiration to remain hopeful for the future. They are based on the spirit of community, selflessness and resilience and are especially embodied by our front-line personnel, volunteers and many local groups that continue to stand-by their communities. These Australians are making a difference and they should be celebrated, particularly on our national day,” said Mr Parker.

Further details on the Australia Day 2021 program, visit

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Australia Day in NSW Partners