A morning concert in Commonwealth Park to raise funds for those impacted by bushfires will be the focus of Canberra’s Australia Day celebrations this year.
This event will replace the annual fireworks show along the lake.
Acting Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries and Cultural Events, Rachel Stephen-Smith said that changes to the format and location of the event were necessary given the ongoing impacts of the bushfires in our region.
“While our neighbours continue to battle bushfires, our emergency services personnel on alert and unpredictable weather in the weeks ahead, this is not the year for us to celebrate with fireworks,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.
“Rather, Australia Day is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the many Australians who are currently engaged in efforts to reduce the harm and trauma caused by bushfires this season.
“Due to the ongoing hot and dry weather and likelihood of ongoing smoke and poor air quality, a decision has been made to move the event to the morning to follow the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremonies at Rond Terrace which are both open to the public.”
Entertainment will run from 10am to 1pm at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park and will feature Australian indie-pop musicians Japanese Wallpaper and Nicole Millar, who will be supported by Canberra’s own Monica Moore.
There will also be a variety of food trucks and family friendly amusements.
The Government is exploring opportunities with several charities to support the people, animals and natural environments directly impacted by the bushfires.
“This event will be an opportunity for Canberrans to gather their friends and family and enjoy a relaxed morning at Commonwealth Park with good food and great music.
“I am also aware that Canberrans have a range of views about Australia Day and that many do not see 26 January as a day for celebration. The ACT Government is committed to ensuring that our event is inclusive and respectful of all views, recognising that it is held on Ngunnawal land.”
More details to be released soon at events.act.gov.au/Australia-day