Australia Day celebrations to focus on our stories
Date published: 16 December 2020
Reflect, respect, and celebrate the stories of individuals and groups living in Townsville as part of Townsville City Council’s Australia Day festivities.
Council, in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council (NADC), has created Northern Stories, a collection of events to encourage us all to reflect on our history’s highs and lows.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Northern Stories was an opportunity to bring locals together.
“Council is focusing on the diversity of our city this Australia Day. Every Australian’s story matters, and Northern Stories is a chance for us to share our stories and hear from the people who make this city great,” Cr Hill said.
“Northern Stories is a new concept, but one that I think will really help to shine a light on the incredible variety of backgrounds our locals have.”
Cr Hill said Northern Stories would run from 15-26 January with free and inclusive events at venues across the city.
“Northern Stories will open up discussions about Australia Day in a new way. We’ll be drawing focus on stories from across the region,” she said.
“These stories are going to be told at Strand Park, Jezzine Barracks and Queens Gardens through an immersive light show, live story sessions and a variety of events.”
A highlight of the festivities will be HALO, an immersive light and sound experience which will transform Castle Hill into a living coral reef. There will also be daily talks with the themes ‘We are all part of the Story,’ ‘Stories of the North’ and ‘Stories of the Coral Sea.’
On Australia Day itself, two key event components will be held at Jezzine Barracks - the formal Australia Day and Flag Raising ceremonies and Celebrate Australia, an inclusive event for all ages with a strong focus on fun activities for the whole family and the Get Active Expo.
National Australia Day Council Chief Executive Officer Karlie Brand said the role of local governments bringing communities together on our national day has never been more important.
“That’s why the National Australia Day Council has provided $15 million in grants to Australian councils and not-for-profit organisations for Australia Day events in 2021,” she said.
“The National Australia Day Council is delighted to be supporting Townsville City Council to deliver an Australia Day that encourages its community to come together and reflect, respect and celebrate.”
The core mission of the National Australia Day Council is to actively promote our national day to all Australians to inspire national pride and increase participation and engagement across all sectors of the community.
Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said Northern Stories was a time to reflect on the individuals that made Townsville a great city.
“Telling stories is one of the most important ways that we can connect with others, educate, and inspire,” Cr Greaney said.
“Northern Stories is a chance for us to reflect on our history, show respect to all cultures, and to celebrate living in the north together.
“This promises to be an iconic event which will draw tourists into the Townsville region for the end of the summer school holidays.
“It’s a great opportunity to listen to the stories of those around us and to dig deep and share our own stories.”
Visit the Northern Stories website for more information.