Joseph with High Commissioner Philip Green. Photo by Andrew West
On the 23rd of January, we attended a wonderful Australia Day celebration at the Australian High Commission in Singapore. It was a night to celebrate everything that’s great about Australia over delicious food, fine Tasmanian Whiskey and great company.
So what is Australia Day all about? Australia Day is the official national day of Australia, sometimes also referred to as “Anniversary Day”, “Invasion Day” or “Foundation Day”. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Philip.
Today, in contemporary Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community.
Over 500 guests packed the High Commission on Thursday evening to celebrate Australia Day – the first major celebration of Australia’s national day at the High Commission in nearly a decade.
We sampled some fantastic Aussie Burgers from Charlie & Co made from wagyu beef, some delicious pot pies from The Gourmet Pie Company and fine Tasmanian whiskey from La Maison du Whisky. The evening was accompanied with speeches by Australian High Commissioner Philip Green (read his speech here) and Singapore Health Minister, Mr Gan Kim Yong. The celebration was also accompanied with great music by Ben Kiley and Paul Hutton.
“On Australia Day 2014, we reflect on the things that bind Australia and Singapore together. On what we have achieved, and what we have yet to achieve. On our hopes and plans for the year ahead”, said Australian High Commission Philip Green. “We reflect on a relationship between Australia and Singapore that is at a high point – with linkages across government, business, education and society that are in truly great shape. We celebrate that”, he added.
For us, the nights’ event marked a special start to the year as we make our own journey of migration to Australia. We move to the capital of Australia in a few months’ time and Canberra is filled with a host of activities over the weekend during this period. The best part of Australia Day in Canberra takes place at 9pm when the sky above Lake Burley Griffin comes to life with a dazzling fireworks display.
We may be missing it but it was great to celebrate our first Australia Day in Singapore!
Over 500 people packed the High Commission for the Australia Day celebration, with balloons falling as Waltzing Matilda was played by Australian musician, Paul Hutton. Photo: Andrew West
Australian High Commissioner Philip Green and Singapore Health Minister, Mr Gan Kim Yong, charge their glasses. Photo: Andrew West
High Commissioner Philip Green shows Singapore Health Minister, Mr Gan Kim Yong, the printed tribute to former Singapore prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, which was distributed to all guests in ‘goodie bags’. Photo: Andrew West
Charlie & Co. gourmet burgers, made from 100% Australian wagyu beef, were very popular. Check out the store at ION Orchard. Photo: Andrew West
The Gourmet Pie Company brought its delicious pies to the High Commission for guests to enjoy. Photo: Stephen Lim for Andrew West Photography
One of the 12 food and beverage vendors at the event, Jones the Grocer put on a phenomenal spread. Photo: Stephen Lim for Andrew West Photography
The boys from Fine Spirits by La Maison du Whisky down at Robertson Quay served fine Tasmanian whisky which was a big hit all night. Photo: Stephen Lim for Andrew West Photography
The Bufori car on display was a huge hit. The business started in Sydney 20 years ago and now makes its exclusive hand-crafted luxury vehicles in Malaysia. Photo: Andrew West
The photo screen brought some Australia Day fireworks in Sydney to Singapore. Photo: Stephen Lim for Andrew West Photography
The photo screen brought some Australia Day fireworks in Sydney to Singapore. That’s us with Australian High Commissioner Philip Green. Photo: Andrew West
We want to thank the Australian High Commission for inviting us to a wonderful celebration. We had such a fantastic time! And thank you to Andrew West for all the photographs featured in this post!
Living in Singapore for nineteen years and with over twenty years of photography experience, Andrew West runs a photography business covering event and wedding photography, corporate and family including children’s portraits as well as food, product, sports, travel and architectural photography. Growing up in Adelaide and having lived in Canberra, Andrew has travelled extensively in Asia with a passion for photographing developing countries. Andrew West Photography has a talented team of photographers that he can call on for jobs that require more than one photographer. For more details visit his official website.