Celebrate our first people
AN IMPORTANT part of Australia Day celebrations is honouring our nation’s first people.
Members of Sydney’s indigenous community will give an insight into their culture in three sacred ceremonies around the Sydney Harbour foreshore on January 26: the WugulOra, Smoking and Sunset ceremonies.
From 7.30am, spectators can view the WugulOra ceremony, which acknowledges Australia’s traditional landowners, at Barangaroo or the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Aboriginal flag will be raised with the Australian flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then Jessica Mauboy will perform the national anthem atop the bridge, in Sydney Aboriginal language and in English.
At 11.45am, more than 500 children from the NSW Public Schools Choir will take part in an ancient Aboriginal smoking ceremony under the guidance of Aboriginal elders.
There are seven smoking ceremonies taking place around the harbour.
“This is a traditional cleansing ritual to acknowledge our ancestors and pay respect to the land and sea of country, as well as to embrace the many different cultures that make Australia what it is today,” said Uncle Max Harrison, from the Yuin people.
To mark the end of the day, a traditional Aboriginal sunset ceremony will run from 8pm at Barangaroo.
Traditional smoking ceremonies will be among indigenous events on Australia Day at Sydney Harbour.