Australia Day 2017 program and free concert announced

A stellar program of events, entertainment and family activities to take place on 26 January has been unveiled by the Australia Day Council of NSW.

The 2017 Australia Day program pays tribute to the country’s traditional land owners and celebrates the many cultures that make up the nation with a multitude of events in Sydney and in local communities around the state.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka said Australians pride ourselves on our rich multiculturalism and harmonious lifestyle.

“Australia Day presents a way for everyone to come together and celebrate our rich make-up, our values, our common goals and commitment to a free and tolerant society.

“It is also a time to acknowledge our Indigenous people and the significant contribution of our multicultural communities,” said Minister Ajaka. 

Minister Ajaka was joined at the official program launch by award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent Peter Greste, a local Australia Day ambassador for the first time, and the host and co-host of the free public concert the Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House, Grant Denyer and Kerri-Anne Kennerley. Indigenous cultural education, art and dance team Koomurri also gave a special performance.

Australia Day highlights in Sydney will include the WugulOra Indigenous Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo followed by the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and a Children’s Festival at Darling Harbour.

Sydney Harbour will host the Sydney Festival Ferrython, a ‘Tug & Yacht ballet’, the Tall Ships Race, two cruising concerts and the Australia Day Regatta. Australia Day marks a new beginning for some, with citizenship ceremonies taking place throughout the day.

That night, the sky will come alive with fireworks and a sound and light show at the Darling Harbour Spectacular, while some of the biggest names in Australian entertainment unite for the concert Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House.

Australia Day creative director John Foreman said the free annual concert was a celebration of Australia’s unique musical and entertainment talent.

“We have brought together some of the biggest names in Australian music to celebrate what makes this country great. The concert promises to be a great spectacle in one of the country’s most impressive locations.”

Among the stars performing this January are Tina Arena, Human Nature, Guy Sebastian, Dami Im, James Morrison and The Wiggles, who will swap their skivvies for civvies while performing classic rock. They’ll be joined by Tony Dee, whose voice inspired the world ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Australian musical legend Russell Morris and up-and-coming singing sensation Natalie Conway.

Tickets for the free event are available via australiaday.com.au/concert from midday today. Availability is on a strict first-come-first-served basis.

Australia Day Council of NSW Chairman Angelos Frangopoulos said Australia Day was an opportunity for communities to come together in a spirit of friendship and harmony.

“Australia Day is an opportunity to take time out, celebrate our passion for Australia and highlight how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful country of ours.”

Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House is brought to you by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House will air Thursday, 26 January at 7.30pm on TEN and WIN Network.

For more information on Australia Day and Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House, visit australiaday.com.au.

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