Melbourne Cup Masthead

What you need to know before you go: The Australian of the Year Awards and Concert

Laura Peppas

On Monday evening, the biggest concert of the year descends on the lawns of Parliament House, bringing some of Australia’s favourite performers including Jimmy Barnes, Samantha Jade, Nathaniel and Cyrus Villanueva, to the stage.

Combined with the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards, it’s an evening that celebrates everything that’s great about our nation.

The Australian of the Year Awards and Concert is a BIG evening, with a packed program, and lots and LOTS of people. So, to help you get the most out of the night, we’ve put together this essential guide.


What’s happening

The free concert starts early, with live music starting at 5pm. The site will be open to the public from 5pm onwards and it is recommended to arrive on time to secure a place on the lawns to get the full experience. 

From 5pm Canberra’s own Ruth O’Brien and Damian Ashcroft will kick start the concert. 

From 6pm things will really heat up when Samantha Jade, Nathaniel and Cyrus Villanueva hit the stage.  

From 7 – 7.30pm there will be a Roulettes display overhead, which will be followed by the live announcement of the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards from 7.30 – 9pm.

After that it’s into celebration mode, with an amazing live concert featuring Australian music legend Jimmy Barnes playing a full set.

Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes will headline the night.

Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes will headline the night.

What to take

You can pack a picnic hamper, but you don’t have to – there’ll be plenty of food and drinks available for purchase onsite. Alcohol will be available for purchase and there’ll also be fresh drinking water if you need it. See event map below for more details.

Also bring your own water, sunscreen and a hat, a picnic rug or folding chair for the best concert experience. And, of course, the obligatory Australian flags and colours!

DON’T BRING any of this stuff: pets (excluding assistance dogs); glass, including bottles; large shade structures or large umbrellas.

The Australia Celebrates Live Concert will be held on the lawns of Parliament House on Sunday 25 January.

Getting there

BY BUS: Route 900 departs Belconnen, City, Woden, Erindale and Tuggeranong bus stations every 15 minutes and drops off at the Albert Hall bus stops on Commonwealth Avenue

EVENT SHUTTLE: A special shuttle from the City or Woden interchange will drop off in front of Old Parliament House. After the event, shuttles will depart from Old Parliament House on King George Terrace and travel to all bus interchanges. For more information, visit ACTION

BY TAXI: If you’re planning to catch a taxi to and from the concert, taxi ranks are located opposite the Treasury Building along Parkes Place.

BY CAR: Road closures, including Federation Mall, Parliament Drive and Queen Victoria Terrace will take effect from 6am Monday 25 January to 1am Tuesday 26 January 2016. Make sure you read the event map below to plan your trip in advance. Vehicles with appropriate disabled parking authorisation will have access to a disabled parking area located at the East Block car park, off Queen Victoria Terrace (adjacent to the National Archives of Australia).

Aus day map

Getting in

The entire concert site will be fenced for the event. There is only one entry and exit point this year – it’s located opposite Old Parliament House. See the above map for details.

Enjoying the concert with kids

Look out for the Family Area: a glass and alcohol-free zone especially for families.

A family room will also be operational during the event and will be stocked with change tables, nappy bins and seats.

Sharing your Australia Day

Share your Australia Celebrates Live experience through Twitter! To be part of Australia Day Your Way, simply Tweet a photo which shows how you mark Australia Day and use the hashtag #AustraliaDay.

Other ways to celebrate

The celebrations don’t stop on Australia Day eve – there’s plenty happening on the actual day, from Hottest 100 events to fireworks! Check out more ways to celebrate Australia Day here.

The essentials

What: The Australian of the Year Awards and Concert
When: Monday 25 January, from 5pm
Where: The lawns in front of Parliament House
How much: Free
Web: For more information on Australia Day visit and for more details on the Australian of the Year Awards visit


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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