Cities of Perth and Vincent commit to Australia Day events

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE cities of Perth and Vincent will continue to hold Australia Day events on January 26.

The Town of Victoria Park last week agreed to celebrate Australia Day each and every year “on the date designated by the Federal Government” but also to discuss the meaning of January 26 with its Aboriginal Engagement Strategy Group.

Meanwhile, the Town of Bassendean is holding an online survey on the future of its events.

A City of Perth spokesman said the only changes to 2018’s three day celebrations were in response to this year’s air tragedy, not cultural or historical sensitivity.

The spokesman said the Air Show would not be held out of respect to Endah Cakrawati and Peter Lynch, who died this year when their plane crashed into the Swan River in front of crowds.

“The City does intend to provide a small commemoration for the victims in consultation with their families as part of the program,” he said.

“Various date options for the popular Birak Concert – organised by Aboriginal leaders in partnership with the City of Perth – were considered and by consensus agreement, the concert will again be held at Supreme Court Gardens on January 26.”

Vincent Mayor Emma Cole said the date of its one civic event on January 26 would also remain.

Ms Cole said she received a letter from Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke warning councils not to protest celebrating on January 26.

“The letter stated that ‘Where a Council uses a citizenship ceremony, or the ability of its office-holders to preside over one, as a tool to protest the practice of celebrating Australia Day on 26 January, I will consider this a serious breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, and will revoke the authorisation of office-holders of the Council as persons who may receive a pledge of commitment’,” she said.

“(The letter) was not as a result of any action taken by the City to change our citizenship ceremony dates, as there has been none.”

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