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Australia Day Program 2022


Aus Lights on the River
Connecting to nature. Belonging to Country.


More than 45,000 people experienced Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama as never before at Aus Lights on the River, held over four balmy nights. This immersion of sound, light and vision was created to explore our connection to nature and belonging to Country and the concept was a first for Australia Day in Adelaide. 

Kaurna leaders told the story of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Parri, pelicans dived into the river, whales swam in the iconic Elder Park rotunda, owls and koalas blinked at us from the trees and giant lettering for the word "Country" was beautifully reflected in changing colours on the river. South Australians from a range of backgrounds spoke about what country means to them, local First Nations dancers performed stunning original pieces and original artworks were projected in glowing light against the night sky.

We thank all the artists, suppliers and volunteers for their invaluable contributions in making this event a spectacular success. 

We also acknowledge the invaluable support from our funding partners. Aus Lights on the River was assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council and supported by the Government of South Australia and strategic partner City of Adelaide.


  Smoking Ceremony

Smoking Ceremony 

A large and supportive crowd listened attentively as Kaurna Elder Uncle Frank Wanganeen presented the Welcome to Country and Kaurna Elder Rosemary Kudnarto Wanganeen addressed the topic of truth telling at this year's Smoking Ceremony on Australia Day, entitled Mourning in the Morning and held on Kaurna land at Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama.

Zibeon Fielding SA State Recipient Young Australian of the Year 2020 was an engaging MC and the ceremony featured musician Rob Edwards and Uncle Moogy Sumner and dancers. Uncle Moogy spoke about the four directions and called upon ancestors to join the ceremony. Artist Derik Lynch, in collaboration with Uncle Frank, created a magnificent sand painting during the preceding nights at Aus Lights on the River and it was unveiled during the Smoking Ceremony. The design represented the Kaurna shield and surrounding Aboriginal nations.

As with all the First Nations content across our Australia Day program, the Smoking Ceremony was curated under the guidance of the Open Circle Discussion Group and we thank them for their valued input. We sincerely thank our First Nations production team, events team and volunteers for creating such a successful and moving ceremony.

We also express our appreciation for the support provided by our funding partners and sponsors. The Mourning in the Morning Smoking Ceremony was presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide, SA Power Networks and SARAH Constructions. It was assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council, and supported by the Government of South Australia.



Aus Day in Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall was infused with live music, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, performances and participatory art in the lead up to and on Australia Day 2022. More than 40 South Australian community organisations featured across a seven-day program, telling the story of South Australia and our nation.

On the 20 and 21 of January, we shared stories on food and culture through cooking demonstrations, intercultural conversations and performances. This activation was hosted by beloved Adelaide chef and food writer, Rosa Matto and MasterChef star and business owner, Callum Hann.

From 22 to 26 January, Gawler Place Canopy came alive with a euphony of sounds and sights that told the story of us. We reflected, respected and celebrated through a free daily program of live music, storytelling and performances. 
Hosted by Rosie Panetta from Mix 102.3, over 30 intercultural community organisations featured across this program truly representing our diverse state.

Our Rundle Mall program also featured a free participatory art installation hosted by James Parker. Members of the public were invited to describe through visual art, how they view Australia. Imagining the perfect Australia is out your kitchen window, what is it that you see? Keep an eye on our socials to see the wonderful creations!

Aus Day in Rundle Mall was presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide and Vili’s Family Bakery.  The event was assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council, and supported by the Government of South Australia.

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