Wednesday, 25 January 2012

AUSTRALIA DAY - 26 January

This will be our 5th Australia day celebrated in this country.
I can still recall the first one, when we joined another couple, also recent immigrants, and we took our picnic baskets in the early afternoon and made our way among the crowds to as near the river as possible in the suburb of South Perth to enjoy the atmosphere and the fireworks.
Australians are very Patriotic when it comes to celebrating this special day. I can remember in Portugal most people just enjoy a day off work but certainly do not join in any celebrations. The day is mostly about speeches by Government leaders anyway...Maybe a few parties and concerts would bring a bit of cheerfulness to the people!

Here, in many towns and cities, people will be celebrating, having a barbecue at home with friends, going to the beach dressed in swimwear with the Australian colours, attending special concerts, having free breakfast in various parks organized by clubs or ultimately joining the huge crowds around the various areas where there will be fireworks displays.

In Perth, the fireworks will be set off from boats in the River Swan, and the fireworks will be visible from the various parks in the city´s Esplanade foreshore, Kings Park and the South Perth foreshore.
Boat owners are allowed to be in demarcated areas in the river and watch from their boats.

Even Eliza, the statue on the River gets dressed for the occasion

Flying the flag in their cars
Typical merchandise sold in various shops
This day is one of the busiest events of the year across the country and one of the busiest for the Police, trying to enforce non-drink policy outside allocated areas, crack down on drunken and anti-social behavior, etc, no easy feat when there are about 400,000 people at the "Skyworks" zones in Perth. Last year after a huge Police presence, only 23 people were arrested in Perth, due to drunken behavior, the lowest number ever, so the measures seem to be working.
This year drinking in the demarcated areas only, will be restricted to 1 bottle of wine per adult or a 6 pack of beer or pre-mixed drinks, and drinking is only allowed from 6,30 to 8,45pm.
It will be a very hot day, 40ºC, so it's expected people will arrive later and drink less.
Fireworks and laser show start at 8pm, accompanied to music from a Radio station and lasts for 30 minutes. The ceremonies will later be transmitted on Channel 7 TV.

Fireworks and Laser shows accompanied to music from a Radio station Mix94.5
An interesting highlight of this day, will be the Citizenship ceremonies performed at various City councils, awarding Australian Citizenship to immigrants who qualify. A day of pride and celebration for them!

In the capital city of Canberra, on the evening of the 25th, the Prime Minister will award medals to 4 deserving Australians in the following categories:  Australian of  the year, Senior Australian of the year, Young Australian of the year, and Local Hero. Nominees are chosen from the 8 people in each of the the 4 categories, nominated by the general public. All ordinary people who work selflessly for the benefit of their country and countrymen.
PS:  The Australian of the Year 2012 has just been announced as being the Actor Geoffrey Rush.

Wherever you may be celebrating, enjoy your day, don´t drink too much, and stay in the shade!
We will be joining some friends for an early swim and bbq at their house and later will go mix with the crowd to watch the fireworks. The atmosphere is always amazing!


  1. What amazing fireworks!
    I like the way everybody joins to celebrate Australia's Day! That is great!
    Interesting...the same goes in The Netherlands with Queen's Day. Everybody wears something in orange (the Royal House's colour) and participates in many activities: barbecues in public gardens, concerts, etc.
    You are right! Portugal doens't celebrate its Day properly. And it's a pity!
    I think Portugal' Day should be the October, 5. We became an independent state in October, 5, 1143. That is why we are the oldest nation-state in Europe. I think this deserves a nice celebration with fireworks, concerts, etc. I know the country celebrates the Republic but not all the Portuguese are included.
    I would prefer a Constitutional Monarchy, as in The Netherlands, because I trust more in a Head of State independent from all the parties. Besides Monarchy is cheaper when we compare the costs of our Republic with the costs of the European Monarchies. But that is my point of view.
    The most important is to celebrate the love we have for our country and history. I can see Australians and Dutch do it in a more cheerful way and I like it more! :-))
    Enjoy Sami! Have fun! :-))

  2. Hi Sami,

    This sounds great! Hope by the time you read this youv'v had an enjoyable time. :)

  3. Sandra - the Dutch seem to be fun loving people too.
    Carole - We had a great time, spent the day at friends who have a pool, so being such a hot day, it was the best place to be in. Later on a barbecue...just arrived home close to midnight! Managed to watch the fireworks from their front garden, although a bit far from the real action, they could be seen in the distance, sad that the photos aren´t as good as if they were taken by the river.

  4. Happy Australia Day for yesterday Sami. It was great fun at the fireworks, but not easy taking photos when it started raining, how about that hey! Amazing no rain for weeks and then just at that particular time.. 42C tomorrow, not fun at all, keep cool!!

  5. Thanks Grace! I have been staying home with the air-con on!

  6. I think celebrating is just one of those things that brings people together! It's like celebrating New Year! It's so fun and exciting and uniting! Hope you had a wonderful Australian Day! )

  7. as an Australian I dont like the way Australia Day is celebrated the sight of all those people dressed up with the Australian flag etc those cars with the flag on it all stinks of nationalism (think Pauline Hanson).


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