Australia Day celebrations to feature Aboriginal dancers

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This year, Australia Day commemorations will include an indigenous ceremony on the flight deck of the newly commissioned HMAS Canberra as it manoeuvres into Sydney Harbour's Farm Cove.

Historically January 26th hasn't been a happy day for all in the indigenous community, with the day being labelled by some Aboriginal Australians both as 'Invasion day' and 'Survival day'.

But students from the NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company have chosen to embrace the commemoration.

Dancers have been giving a sneak peak at what to expect this Australia day, performing a Wugulora indigenous ceremony on the flight deck of the newly commissioned HMAS Canberra.

"I get really excited and nervous at the same time because I'm performing in front of all these people and it's exciting to see what happens to all this work that we're doing," said Newtown High School Dancer Emma Clancy.

The jewel in the Australian Navy's crown, the HMAS Canberra, will manoeuvre into Sydney Harbour's Farm Cove on  the day.

"It's a quite a privilege to perform on Australia's largest ship that's ever been created," said dancer Tainga Savage. "It's amazing, and we have a beautiful view".

Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer from the Royal Australian Navy says his sailors are proud of being Australian.

"We have served all around the world representing our country and it's a privilege to be here at what was the birth place of modern Australia".

For the first time this year, the celebrations will feature a salute to Australia at midday, involving the army, the navy and a flyover by the royal Australian airforce. The flight deck of HMAS Canberra will be the main stage.

There will also be a 21-gun salute from Bradfield Park, while synchronised choirs will line the harbour foreshore to sing the national anthem.

For more details of the celebrations across Australia, go to australiaday.org.au

Source SBS

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