Woonona laser and light show will mark Australia Day this year

Picture: Hugo Heimendinger on

WOONONA will be one of three locations chosen by Wollongong City Council to stage a laser and light display to celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

The traditional jam-packed Australia Day event program for Wollongong has been put on hold this year due to the pandemic. Instead, the Council will be focussed on offering a COVID-friendly laser and light display at Woonona, Wollongong and Warrawong.

Provided there are no changes to the NSW Public Health order and no cases of locally-transmitted COVID-19, the one hour light show will be on display from two locations in the local government area.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the main drawcard for Council with the light displays is that they can be seen further away.

“We’re very focussed on supporting and looking after our community’s wellbeing, and by offering this light display we’re able to do something that people can enjoy safely from afar,’’ he said.

“Whether you’re based around Woonona, Wollongong or Warrawong you’ll be able to watch and keep a safe social distance from others. This is a display designed so you can have the experience at a distance but know you are still enjoying a visual event with others in your community to acknowledge Australia Day 2021. In fact, finding a quiet space to watch while tuning in your radio so you can listen to the audio soundtrack is the best way to make the most of the display.

“I want to be clear – this is not something you’ll want to watch close-up. You’re best to be at a distance away to enjoy the full impact of the display.’’

Cr Bradbery said that while Council was moving forward with the display plans, close attention was being paid to the NSW Public Health Order as well any update NSW Health advice.

The display will be set up at Nicholson Park, Woonona, and in Kully Bay, Warrawong. A combined seven-minute laser and light show on rotation will also include Belmore Basin, Wollongong from 9-10pm.

Also, on Australia Day, Wollongong is collaborating with Shellharbour and Kiama councils to offer a flyover of vintage planes from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS), look to the skies from 11am, There will also be a helicopter flyover towing the Australian flag departing Shellharbour Airport at 5pm and making its way along the coastline.

“Wherever you live in Wollongong, you’ll be looking up to the skies to see a number of vintage planes across the day which will no doubt bring much excitement,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

Wollongong Council will also hold its pared back Australia Day Awards on Friday January 22. The event is by invitation only and will see the announcement and presentation of Wollongong’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year award.

“As you’d expect, we’ve also made some modifications to the Awards ceremony – moving it from a dinner to a light lunch and ensuring there are COVID safe measures in place,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“I don’t think anyone would be surprised that we’ve made these changes to the event. However, it’s important that if it can go ahead, it will. It’s important we continue to recognise those in our community whose selfless actions improve our city for all.’’


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Instead, you can make a small donation towards the publishing of The Bulli & Clifton Times and/or the Looking Back websites with your credit card. If you would like to support my work, you can leave a small donation here by tapping or clicking on the button below. Your generous patronage of my work and research, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my continuing costs.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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