HMAS Canberra hosted the launch of the Australia Day Council of New South Wales' 2015 Australia Day Program this week in spectacular style.
Dancers, singers and sailors joined together to highlight the entertainment on offer for celebrations on 26 January.
The newly commissioned Landing Helicopter Dock will also be the centrepiece of celebrations on Sydney Harbour for Australia Day, positioned between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer said the Australian Defence Force would be supporting events across the country in both regional and metropolitan areas.
“This Australia Day is the first one celebrated with the newest addition to our fleet and the Navy is honoured to participate alongside the community in this year’s celebrations,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
The ship will be pivotal to the 'Salute to Australia' that will involve a 21 gun salute by the Army from Bradley’s Head and a fly past by the Air Force.
Navy will also provide helicopter displays and water craft in support of activities around the Harbour.
Mr Angelos Frangopoulos, Chairman of the Australia Day Council of New South Wales, said that this Australia Day, the Council were delivering their biggest program to date.
“This year we have a new event and important initiative for all Australians to join together,” Mr Frangopoulos said.
“All eyes will be on the Harbour, as synchronised choirs and spectators around the foreshore will sing the national anthem and we’re asking everyone across the nation to take a moment at 12 noon to join in.”
During the launch held on Canberra's flight deck, the New South Wales Public Schools' Aboriginal Dance Company gave a preview of the traditional WugulOra Indigenous Ceremony and Anja Nissen, Woolworths Australia Day Ambassador, sung Advance Australia Fair, which she will also perform during the 'Salute to Australia'.
The Royal Australian Navy provides significant support to Australia Day celebrations each year. Since 1988, the Navy has assisted with the traditional Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour, often providing the flagship when operational commitments allow.
Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150047.