Sydney celebrates ‘One Land, One People’
Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January… a day that inspires national pride among all Australians … a day that dispels any ‘crisis of identity’ and marks the recognition of ‘One Land One People’! It’s a public holiday that celebrates the coming together of people and patriotic sentiment, emphasising the true spirit of being Australian!
It was on this day in 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip first touched base at Sydney Cove with the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain. But, it wasn’t until 1994, did all Australian States and Territories join hands to consistently celebrate January 26 as Australia Day.
But, all that’s history and celebrations that instil patriotic fervor commence with the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 7:30 am. Sydney Harbour transforms itself into an amphitheatre of Australian life and there’s no greater pride than being there at the heart of all activity.
If you’re there at noon, you will witness the 21 Gun Salute at Bradfield Park, near the north side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and you can raise your voice to join the synchronised choirs in singing the national anthem. The Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force pay tribute to Australia with a flamboyant ceremonial display that commemorates the making of a great nation.
A host of dignitaries receive the Salute from a Royal Australian Navy Flagship anchored between the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Salute is completed with a brilliant aerial flyover by the Royal Australian Air Force Jets.
In the evening, Darling Harbour becomes the hub of all activity as it hosts a concert followed by spectacular lights, music and fireworks that bring Australia Day to an eventful end!