Sydney Australia Day citizenship ceremonies highlight the council’s division
“Advocating a date change will not solve the devastating and far-reaching effects of colonization, but it does provide a platform for ongoing and honest conversation.”
A spokesman for the City of Sydney said the council did not hold any events on January 26 but will continue to support the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office in their public events.
Both Sydney and Inner West Councils are major sponsors of the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park. The Indigenous festival is usually attended by a significant number from Sydney’s Invasion Day Rally, which leaves Belmore Park at 9:30am.
“We’re also having a summer festival at Enmore Park, which has been moved to February from January 26 to avoid competing with Yabun,” Byrne said.
Australia Day is also being ignored by the Liberal Party-dominated Woollahra Municipal Council in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which will hold no events on January 26 save for a citizenship ceremony for new citizens and their families.
“Historically the Council does not hold any public events other than a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day, so 2023 is no different from previous years for Woollahra Council,” said a spokeswoman.
In contrast, neighboring Waverley Council will hold a Dawn Reflection ceremony at 5:30am on Bondi Beach to recognize the resilience and survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and three citizenship ceremonies at the Bondi Pavilion. Randwick will also hold a naturalization ceremony followed by a concert with Aboriginal musicians at La Perouse.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke about changing the rules on citizenship ceremonies last month and said Labor supports the Australia Day ceremonies but doesn’t want new citizens to miss out.
“We want people to become Australian citizens. And that’s why we shouldn’t put bureaucracy in front of this opportunity for ideological reasons,” he said.
But while Sydney councilors grapple with how to tackle the increasingly contentious holiday, celebrations elsewhere in the city are bigger than ever.
Pop star Vanessa Amorosi will headline Blacktown City Council’s Australia Day Concert, which will feature fireworks, rides and a freestyle motocross show. Kate Ceberano will play a concert hosted by the Hills Shire, which will also feature three separate Australian flag raising ceremonies.
“Australia Day is our national holiday and a time to celebrate everything that is wonderful about this country and the way we live,” said Peter Gangemi, Mayor of Hills Shire.
The Northern Beaches Council is hosting an open air cinema on Australia Day Eve in Mona Vale on 25 January and pool parties on Australia Day at the watersports centers of Manly and Warringah. Canterbury-Bankstown and Penrith Borough Councils will also host events at a number of public swimming pools.
But it’s possible the short timeframe given to councils to change the dates of their events could result in more members of the City of Sydney joining next year.
A spokesman for Parramatta City Council said its events, which include a multicultural festival just a week after the Lunar New Year celebrations, were planned “several months” in advance.
“Any changes to the City of Parramatta’s Australia Day program must be a decision of the council and be approved prior to the 2024 event,” the spokesperson said.
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/not-a-day-of-unity-sydney-councils-snub-australia-day-citizenship-ceremonies-20230120-p5ce5r.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Sydney Australia Day citizenship ceremonies highlight the council’s division