Celebrated on 26 January, Australia Day marks the day Britain’s First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788 and established the first European settlement. Taking on new meaning over time, the holiday now celebrates the country’s diverse communities, land, lifestyles, freedoms – and what it means to be Australian.
This year, we commemorated the occasion on Saturday 11th of February with an authentic Aussie barbecue at the Grand Hyatt Macau’s pool deck, complete with beers from Little Creatures, a beloved brewery hailing from Fremantle in Western Australia, and lovely Skuttlebut wines from Margaret River.
Around 140 local Aussies and friends of Australia attended our Australia Day BBQ, where energizing local band The High Rollers performed nostalgic Australian songs, including “I Am Australian”, “I Still Call Australia Home” and “Waltzing Matilda”. Frontman Billy Chan and keyboardist Stephen Berry are members of our Board of Directors, adding some Aussie flair to the stage!
And thanks to the reopening of Macau’s borders, we were thrilled to welcome Consul-General Elizabeth Ward and her colleagues from the Australian Consulate in Hong Kong for the first time since 2020.
“Everyone is excited to be together. It’s such an outpouring of energy that really supports the city’s reopening and offers a chance to get back in touch with the world,” Elizabeth shared during her visit.
For Australians away from home, Australia Day offers a moment to reflect on “what it means to be an Aussie overseas and what we bring to an overseas environment,” Elizabeth added. “We’re can-do people – we’re fun, we’re efficient, we like having a good time, and we like doing a job really well and innovatively.”
Australia Day is also an opportunity to get together and celebrate the Australian community.
“It’s a great chance for everybody to get together and talk about the year that was and look forward to the exciting things that are happening, and just to celebrate what it means to have the connection with Australia,” shared Pat Orchard, Consul for Political and Economic Affairs of the Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau.
Also in attendance was Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, who has always supported our events over the years. “It’s a good way to network and get to know one another, through which different ideas and businesses can come out,” said Maria Helena.
During the festivities, we also presented a MOP 40,000 cheque to the Association of Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers of Macau (ARTM) as a culmination of funds raised during our inaugural men’s health awareness campaign last year. The campaign included two primary events: a fundraising Power Hour luncheon at The St. Regis Macao in October and the Movember Trivia Night at Galaxy Macau’s China Rouge in November.
We sincerely thank our members, the consular officers from the Australian Consulate in Hong Kong, MGTO Director Maria Helena and the broader Australian community who made the time to join us at our Australia Day celebrations.
In addition, we thank Seapower for supplying delicious Australian beer and Links Concepts for the excellent wine. We would also like to extend a special thanks to Timothy Bruce, General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Macau, and his team for sponsoring such a fantastic venue and delicious food for the festivities.