Sutherland Shire Council is gearing up to host several community events on January 26, Australia Day, this year.
The Australia Day program will include pop-up concerts and roving performers, light displays in major parks, family days with live DJs at the council's leisure centres and the announcement of the 2022 Australia Day Award winners and annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony in the gardens of Hazelhurst Arts Centre.
The program also includes a sunset cultural ceremony at Burnum Burnum Sanctuary, Woronora where First Nations elders will share stories and cultural learnings, yarning circles and traditional dance and music performances.
Sutherland Shire Mayor, Carmelo Pesce said this year's program was one not to be missed, with opportunities for all communities within the shire to enjoy free entertainment and engaging community and cultural experiences on their doorstep.
"Traditionally, our Australia Day events are among the largest community events staged in the region and eagerly looked forward to by thousands of local residents and visitors," he said.
"As always, the health and safety of residents is at the forefront of our event planning, and this year we're providing more intimate ways to mark the occasion with family and friends, by encouraging residents to stay local, support local businesses during this period and enjoy a host of smaller scale events available within neighbouring suburbs across the area.
"The program will showcase the talents of various local and emerging performers, feature light displays set to showcase the beauty of some of our most popular local parks, and importantly, allow our community to reflect on Australia Day and come together to mark the occasion in COVID safe ways."
In addition to this year's program, the council has welcomed the return of the widely popular 'Cinema Under the Stars', which offers family-friendly twilight screenings of movies across several sites throughout January and February. Free popcorn will be on offer upon arrival. Residents are encouraged to bring along picnic rugs and low chairs to sit back with the family and enjoy a free movie under the stars.
BY THE RIVER
There will be a light display and live music at Como Pleasure Grounds from 3pm-10pm. Discover a new way to explore this beautiful parkland through a specially curated lighting experience. Local musicians are also performing in the park.
There will be free entry to Como Swimming Complex from 1pm-6pm.
See a light display and live music at Burnum Burnum Sanctuary, Woronora, from 3pm-10pm. Local musicians will also perform.
IN THE PARK
Engadine will host Cinema Under the Stars and live music at Cooper Street Reserve from 5pm. Bring the family to this free outdoor movie event. Free popcorn. The film Sing! starts at 5pm, Dolittle begins at 7pm.
At Gymea there will be live music at Hazelhurst Arts Centre from 12.30pm-2.30pm. Come along to the special marquee and enjoy a free musical soiree in the grounds of Hazelhurst.
Also at Gymea, a citizenship ceremony and Australia Day Awards at Hazelhurst Arts Centre Gardens from 10am-11am.
IN THE POOLS
At Caringbah there will be a pool party with a DJ at Caringbah Leisure Centre from 10am-2pm. Entry is free.
At Engadine, there is also free pool entry with a DJ at Engadine Leisure Centre from 10am-2pm.
At Sutherland check out the DJ there at Sutherland Leisure Centre, also free entry, from 10am-2pm.
BY THE BEACH
There will be live music and roving performers at Dunningham Park, Gunnamatta Park Amphitheatre, Cronulla, from 11am-4pm. Relax to the sounds of summer. The roving brass ensemble will be wandering from the plaza to the beach during the day.
On the day before Australia Day (January 25), at Woronora there will be a sunset cultural ceremony at Burnum Burnum Sanctuary from 6pm. Unite together as Aboriginal elders share stories and culture. Enjoy traditional dance, music and learn through the yarning circle.
From January 25-30, there will be a light display at Como Pleasure Grounds from 6pm-10pm. Re-discover the Pleasure Grounds through a specially curated light display. Wander and enjoy a summer's evening with the family. Also see a light display at Woronora, Burnum Burnum Sanctuary, from 6pm-10pm.