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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Newcastle’s COVIDSafe Australia Day plans

City of Newcastle is not letting the pandemic stop it from hosting activities this Australia Day.

On Tuesday 26 January, the council will deliver a range of COVIDSafe events, with festivities spread across the city in order to bring the day closer to home and ensure that the community can come together safely.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said ensuring the wellbeing of the community had always been the city’s top priority during the pandemic.

“Our Australia Day program of events, much like our New Year’s festivities, has been designed to provide opportunities for Novocastrians to get involved in activities within their surrounding neighbourhoods and at some of our city’s most iconic locations,” he said.

“Smaller gatherings with dispersed crowds offer a safer way for people to come together and connect on 26 January, whether they’re packing a blanket and heading down to enjoy the produce stalls, food trucks and family-friendly entertainment at Richley Reserve, or cooling off at the city’s largest simultaneous pool party with inflatable fun and roving entertainment.

Fort Scratchley will also use 26 January to provide a fitting salute to healthcare workers at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, with 24 of those frontline staff given the opportunity to fire the fort’s historic guns at 1pm.” 

Traditionally on Australia Day, City of Newcastle conducts citizenship ceremonies in order to welcome Australia’s newest citizens.

This year, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Cr Clausen will hold simultaneous virtual ceremonies for the new Australians to take their pledges.

The events at Fort Scratchley will be accompanied by the City of Newcastle RSL Pipe and Drums, as well as a morse code demonstration and a sausage sizzle hosted by the Lion’s club.

Newcastle’s iconic Nobbys Beach will also play host to the Beach 5’s tournament, a fast paced hybrid of rugby union, rugby league and touch football.

The event is set to be headlined by a plethora of former players, including Lote Tuqiri, Danny Buderus, Willie Mason and Robbie O’Davis

It will take place from Sunday 24 to Tuesday 26 January.

City of Newcastle’s full list of events:

Australia Day celebrations:

Food Market – at Richley Reserve, from 10am to 4pm. Food-based market stalls, food trucks, roving entertainment, reptile shows and activities for children.

Pool Parties – at Beresfield, Mayfield, Stockton and Wallsend pools, from 10am to 4pm. Activities include inflatables and roving entertainment.  

Historical activities – at Fort Scratchley, from 10am – 4pm. City of Newcastle RSL Pipe and Drums performance and flag raising (11am), firing of the Fort guns at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, Lions Club sausage sizzle, museum exhibition rooms, morse code demonstration.

Beach 5s Rugby – at Nobbys Beach, from 24-26 January. Men’s, women’s and youth teams contest five-a-side sand-based matches based on modified rules of rugby union, rugby league and touch football.

Colour exhibition – at Newcastle Museum, from 10am – 5pm. Engage with more than 20 scientific experiences and see colour as you’ve never seen it before in this exhibition developed by Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre and presented by Newcastle Museum.

We Can Be Heroes: a backstage pass exhibition – at Newcastle Art Gallery, from 10am – 5pm. Music lovers will be given a backstage pass to some of the biggest bands and gigs in the world through this exhibition, which showcases rarely seen and previously unreleased photographs of Australian and international musicians.