A ‘brave’ and ‘bold’ display of indigenous culture has been added to Sydney’s NYE fireworks as part of a welcome to country kicking-off 2016.
Among the fireworks and projections will be graphics honouring the First Nations people of Sydney and creative director Rhoda Roberts told AAP she was thrilled with the decision to prominently feature indigenous culture.
“It is about a welcome to country, it’s about honouring where we are, it’s about caretaking where we are and about having fun and looking forward to a great future,” Ms Roberts said.
She said that it was also about reinvigorating some of Sydney’s indigenous history.
“We all love New Year’s Eve and we celebrate it and that’s just as important as the special days we used to celebrate corroborees,” she said.
Near perfect weather has greeted those who have already staked their vantage points around Sydney with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a maximum temperature of 25C in the city, with a bit of cloud and light winds.
More than one million people will crowd the foreshore and many have travelled across the world to see it.
“You always saw it on the TV, it’s like a dream,” Martina Truong from Stuttgart said. She had been camping out at Milsons Point since 8am surrounded by fellow backpackers.
“A billion people around the world will see our New Year’s Eve and so what a better message than we are a harmonious city with a wonderful creative talent,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“It takes our team and the city 15 months to prepare for a New Year’s Eve and they’re already working on next year’s,” she said.
Fireworks director Fortunato Foti said that 90 per cent of the fireworks were in place on Thursday morning and without a usual feature on the Harbour Bridge the pyrotechnics would take centre stage.
“As a canvas to do fireworks we are the envy of the world,” Mr Foti said.
There will be an increased police presence throughout the city, including undercover officers.
Spectators are being advised to take public transport around the city and surrounding foreshore areas with roads closing ahead of the festivities.
Extra buses are operating on major routes into the CBD and extra train services will be running after celebrations to help get people home.