25 January 2024

Heaps of Australia Day events, but only those that are inclusive get government support

| Chris Johnson
Join the conversation
Light display on Lake Burley Griffin

Last year’s Lights on the Lake were hugely popular. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Whether it’s a community barbecue or a fully-fledged citizenship ceremony, no official Australia Day event will get support from the Federal Government unless it pays some serious attention to inclusivity and accessibility.

With opposition to the day itself growing year by year, sponsoring diversity is considered a smart move – and perhaps the very least that should be done.

Since 2022, all events supported by the National Australia Day Council must include specific elements to ensure they are accessible and inclusive.

And this year, the government through the council is providing $11.7 million in funding for 668 inclusive events across the country.

READ ALSO Two years ago, Madina couldn’t speak English, today she’s starting uni

In Canberra, there are such events as Harmonie at the Harmonie German Club, a mini ethnic food, dance and music festival in Gungahlin’s town square, a community day at the National Museum, and a drone sky show and night markets at Commonwealth Place.

There’s Lights on the Lake and a flag-raising ceremony on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.

The Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and African communities, among others, are marking the day with public celebrations open to all.

And that’s just for starters.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman said Australia Day was all about celebrating Australia’s ever-evolving national story of “our history, our lives and most of all our people”.

He said the 668 events being supported by the Federal Government in local communities across Australia were doing just that and helping people come together to reflect, respect and celebrate what it is to be Australian.

READ ALSO How to run a Canberra ‘sky show’, by the veteran who flew military drones in Afghanistan

Welcomes to Country, citizenship ceremonies, morning teas, barbecues, live performances and storytelling are just a few of the activities that will take place right around the nation.

“Australia Day is a time for all Australians to reflect on and celebrate the rich tapestry of our ancient, diverse and multicultural nation,” the Assistant Minister said.

“It is a day to acknowledge the past and pay respect to First Nations peoples’ survival, resilience and enduring culture.

“It’s also an opportunity to embrace the many other cultures and backgrounds that make up the Australian story.

“I encourage communities to come together this Australia Day to celebrate our many achievements, reflect on our complex history and look forward to our future with hope.”

Supported Australia Day events are listed on the National Australia Day Council’s website.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Strangely worded headline. Sounds resentful.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.