Although racing in Australia is held every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day, the Group One races in Melbourne are held almost exclusively throughout the carnival, which is traditionally placed between the football and cricket seasons. During the winter (where football is dominant), and summer (where cricket is dominant), racing takes a ‘back seat’ position in relation to the cricket or football in terms of media coverage and attendances. However, in spring and autumn, the mass media turns its attention to the racing. There is also a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, a time where Group One races are also held.
The carnival, and particularly the Melbourne Cup attracts the interest of many people otherwise uninterested in horse racing, and special forms of very low-stake gambling are often used for this event. One common form for groups such as office staff is the “sweep”, where each participant adds a small fee to a “pot” and draws the name of a horse like a raffle. Prize money is distributed to the person who draws the winning horse (occasionally smaller prizes are awarded to placegetters and the last-placing horse). A more complex and high-stakes form of the sweep is the “Calcutta”, often held as a fundraising event for community organisations, which begins as in the sweep (though usually with a much higher initial stake), but which allows ticket holders to trade their tickets through an auction system.
The Spring Carnival is made up of meetings held by the metropolitan clubs, where Group One races take place, and also at Geelong. With numerous group races during August and September at metropolitan tracks Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley, the Spring Carnival officially starts on the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington, one week after the AFL Grand Final. The Spring Racing Carnival officially ends on the final day of the Sandown Carnival, Eclipse Stakes day.]]>
The event is held annually during winter in the Southern Hemisphere over the course of three weeks in May and June. The centrepiece of Vivid Sydney is the multimedia interactive light sculptures and building projections that transform various buildings and landmarks in and around the Sydney CBD and Sydney Harbour into an outdoor night time canvas of art.
According to New South Wales Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, Vivid 2012 attracted more than 500,000 visitors to the outdoor exhibition and events, generating around $10 million in income for the state, whereas Vivid 2013 enthralled more than 800,000 visitors, contributing more than $20 million in new money to the NSW economy.
The 2014 festival had the Sydney Opera House, Walsh Bay, Circular Quay, The Rocks, North Sydney, Darling Harbour, and joining in for the first time, Harbour Lights, The Star and Carriageworks.
Vivid festival 2014 had the contribution of 59 productions to create a new projected artwork for the sails of the Sydney Opera House, and the collaboration of the French company Aquatique Show International, for the Vivid Aquatique show that will feature computer controlled dancing water jets in a ‘magic wall’ of light and water.]]>
Australia Day usually begins with morning formalities; flags are hoisted, the national anthem is sung, cannons are fired, special community projects and individuals are recognised, ceremonies are held to welcome the country’s new citizens. There are free barbeque breakfasts and fun beach parties, corroborees and concerts, parades and pageants, sports, festivals and fireworks.
Australia Day history
In 1787, King George III sealed Australia’s fate by declaring it Britain’s new convict colony. Being sent to Botany Bay was a severe punishment. Sentences ranged from a minimum exile of seven years to life, with varying degrees of hard labour.
Under the command of Arthur Phillip, 11 ships of the First Fleet left Plymouth on 13 May 1787. It was an arduous journey with more than 1,400 people living in cramped conditions. Believing that Botany Bay was unsuitable for permanent settlement, Captain Phillip led the fleet north into Port Jackson, landing on 26 January 1788 after eight months at sea. Phillip named it Sydney Cove, after Lord Sydney the British Home Secretary.
More than 700 convicts (188 female), 700 merchant seamen, Royal Navy and Marine personnel and families, 209 fowls, 74 pigs, 35 ducks, 29 sheep, 29 geese, 19 goats, 18 turkeys, five cows, four stallions, three mares and two bulls disembarked from the First Fleet.
Australia’s national day is also an important annual opportunity to recognise the place of indigenous Australians in our nation’s history, and to promote understanding, respect and reconciliation. It is also a time for all Australians reflect on and celebrate everything that’s great about being Australian.
Australian of the Year Awards
The Australian of the Year Awards celebrates the achievements and contributions of eminent Australians, both young and old, in all fields from science to sport. There are four categories: Australian of the Year; Senior Australian of the Year (60 years and over); Young Australian of the Year (16 to 25 years); and Australia’s Local Hero. The awards are announced in Canberra, the nation’s capital, on Australia Day eve.