23 January 2020

Six things to do around Canberra this Australia Day long weekend

| Zoe Pleasants
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Julie Rrap at the NGA

Australian artist Julie Rrap will change the way you see the NGA. Photo: NGA.

With the fireworks cancelled due to the ongoing bushfires and total fire bans and many of us still dealing with the fallout from Monday’s storm, celebrations for Australia Day will have a different flavour this year. There will be a concert on Stage 88 during the day featuring Japanese Wallpaper, the National Museum of Australia will be celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, the National Gallery of Australia will be celebrating art and the National Film and Sound Archive will be celebrating the achievements of actor and Yolngu Elder David Gulpilil.

All weekend

American Express Openair Cinema

Where: Patrick White Lawns
When: Friday, Saturday and Monday from 6:00 pm
This weekend at the American Express Openair Cinema, see Last Christmas on Friday night, Abominable on Saturday night and Ford v Ferrari on Monday night. Gates open at 6:00 pm and the films start at around 8:30 pm. Bring your own picnic and picnic rug, or buy food and drinks from the on-site vendors. If you’re after a more luxurious experience try the American Express or Prime Video Lounges where you’ll get a lounger, blanket, a glass of wine and additional food and drink delivered to your lounger! General admission tickets are $20 or $17 for concession (discounted if tickets are bought with an AMEX card). Entry to the Prime Video Lounge is $42 (less if bought with an AMEX card) and entry to the American Express Lounge is $35 (but can only be purchased with an AMEX card). Check out the cinema’s Facebook page for updates about cancellations due to smoke and other weather events.

David Gulpilil Movie Season

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: Saturday from 12:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm
The National Film and Sound Archive is celebrating Australia Day by screening three movies directed by Rolf de Heer and featuring the actor and Yolngu Elder David Gulpilil. On Saturday see:

  • The Tracker (2002) at 12:00 pm for which David Gulpilil won Best Actor at the AFI/AACTA Awards for his extraordinary portrayal of an experienced Indigenous tracker accompanying a group of police officers on the hunt for an Aboriginal man accused of killing a white woman, and
  • Ten Canoes (2006) at 2:00 pm, narrated by David Gulpilil, this is the first Australian feature film where the actors speak entirely in Aboriginal languages.

Then on Sunday see Charlie’s Country (2013) at 2:00 pm, a semi-autobiographical film which tells the story of an Aboriginal man coming to terms with his loss of culture and sense of self in the modern world. Gulpilil’s performance in this film earned him awards in Australia and internationally, including at the Cannes Film Festival. Before the screening, there will be talk at 1:00 pm by NFSA Education Presenter Gail Neuss celebrating the achievement of Australia’s First Peoples in the film industry.

Art Weekend

Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: Friday from 5:30 pm and Sunday 11:00 am–3:00 pm
The National Gallery of Australia is hosting its first Art Weekend this weekend. Experience the Gallery in a new way with a weekend of activities created by Australian artist Julie Rrap. There will be exhibition-related events in the galleries, art-making, including the opportunity to participate in a life drawing class, chats about art, music and other performances. The weekend starts on Friday night with Night Shift which includes a life drawing class led by Julie Rrap in the Matisse & Picasso exhibition, live music provided by acoustic musician, Jayne and punk outfit, Slagatha Christie and panel discussion on the ethics of body in art. Then on Sunday, the Gallery is hosting Super Sunday: Bodies in Space, a day filled with music, art activities, storytelling performances and family tours.


Australia Day in the Capital

Where: Various locations
When: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Official Australia Day celebrations will be held on shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The day will start at 9:00 am with flag-raising and citizenship ceremonies at Rond Terrace followed by a great line up local and national musicians – Japanese Wallpaper, Nicole Millar and Monica Moore – performing on Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Then head to the Canberra Yacht Club for the Chief Minister’s Australia Day Regatta between 2:45 pm and 3:30 pm.

26 January at the National Museum of Australia

Where: National Museum of Australia
When: 10:00 am–4:00 pm
The National Museum of Australia is celebrating Australia Day with music, dance, demonstrations and activities inspired by its First Australian gallery and new bush garden. The day will start with a Welcome to Country in Forecourt Garden at 10:00 am followed by a program of activities including:

  • Jewellery making with Krystal Hurst—make an emu feather and quandong seed necklace and learn about the importance of Aboriginal adornment in cultural expression and storytelling. Activity costs $5.
  • Bush animal and doll making with Ronnie Jordan. Activity costs $5.
  • Taste of the bush with Yurbay and Adam Shipp—walk through the new Forecourt Garden with Adam and listen as he shares his knowledge of native plants. Tours at 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 12:45 pm and 1:45 pm.
  • Tours of the First Australian Gallery to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. Shorter tours at 10:15 am, 11:15 am and 12:15 pm and a comprehensive tour at 3:00 pm which costs $15. Meet at the Information Desk 10 minutes before.
  • Didjeridu performance by Ngambri-Ngunnawal custodian Paul House at 12:00 pm.

All proceeds from this event will be donated to the RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal.

Australia Day Picnic at Lanyon Homestead

Where: Lanyon Homestead
When: 10:00 am–4:00 pm
Explore the past this Australia Day at Lanyon Homestead. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch on the lawns in the gardens or at The Barracks Espresso Bar and Eating House (for bookings call 6237 5268). Take a tour of the homestead interior or a beyond the homestead tour of the gardens and outbuildings. The beyond the homestead tours will start at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm and cost $7 for adults, $5 for concession and $15 for a family. Buy your ticket from the homestead reception on the day.

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