Dawn Projection

The world-renowned Sydney Opera House sails created the perfect canvas to capture a spectacular piece of First Nations art at Barabiyanga (burra-bee-yan-ga - meaning ‘before sunrise’ in Eora), recognising Australia’s First Peoples and their culture at dawn on 26 January.

Dawn Projection is finished


05:30 AM - 06:00 AM

26 January 2022


Sydney Opera House

2 Circular Quay East, Sydney, NSW, 2000

Important Information

First Nations at first light

At dawn on Australia Day 2022, the Sydney Opera House shone brightly with First Nations artwork of the Goanna Songline (Ngintaka Inma) by acclaimed Western Desert artist and elder Yadjidta David Miller. Shortly after first light, the Aboriginal flag was raised alongside the Australian flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Dawn Reflection and much of the Sydney program is guided by First Nations representatives and features many First Nations artists and performers showcasing the richness and historical significance of culture through modern and meaningful programming.

Highlights from 2022


The artist

Acclaimed Western Desert artist and elder Yadjidta David Miller was commissioned for the Australia Day in Sydney 2022 project. Mr Miller is a senior Pitjantjatjara man who  lives in the remote community settlement of Pipalyatjara in the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyatjara) Lands of northern South Australia.

The 70-year-old artist travelled to Sydney on Australia Day to see his artwork projected on the sails at first light. Mr Miller said he was honoured by the recognition the projection has brought to his arts organisations, his ancestors and to his people today and the next generation of First Nations artists. “The stories that you see in the paintings - that’s our story and our Dreaming,” he said.

About the artwork

The artwork tells the Ngintaka Tjukurpa (Perentie dreaming story). Ngintaka, the giant Perentie lizard, steals a special grindstone, stopping at waterholes and finding food sources in his travels across the lands.

Yadjidta David Miller is on the Board of Directors of Ninuku Arts, which is the locally owned, incorporated, art centre out of which he and the artists of Pipalyatjarra and Kalka work. For more information about this organisation  - https://www.anangukuarts.com.au/

Solid Rock Segment – Part of Australia Day Live

Yadjidta David Miller’s Dawn Projection artwork connected key elements of the Australia Day 2022 program. The Ngintaka songline passes through Uluru - where Goanna’s hit song Solid Rock, Sacred Ground was written. The Inma (dance) which featured in the mesmerising performance of Solid Rock by songwriter Shane Howard, musician/singer William Barton and singer Emma Donovan at the evening Australia Day Live concert was partly filmed at Uluru. Watch the Australia Day Live Concert.


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