The Rainbow Chai Tent

For stories and photos of events and venues that The Chai Tent has gone to, is currently at, or is planing to go to in the future

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chai Tent @ The Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra 2009

Well Michael, Benny and 'Aunty'Liffey, have taken the Chai Tent down to Canberra once again. They were finally fully set up on the morning of Jan 26th, just in time for the Sovereignty Day marcher's refreshments.
All photos from 2007 until I get updates from Michael or Benny or anyone else who is actually down there.

A Rainbow Parliament House ? Feb 2007

Photo from 2007 March

The wild windy weather hampered their set up along with a few mishaps and car troubles on the way down. It is such a huge set up, even more than the weekly market set up, as Michael hires extra, large marquees, to provide adequate shade and under cover kitchen area.
Liffey said she went to bed at 3am and woke up at 6am, and straight back into work, Michael stayed up all night, fine tuning the whole set up.
Apparently my new paint job on the old table curtain is looking better than the new one. I'll have to add some words to the new one too, when it comes back up.

Well, 'THE' Conversation, has begun, 'Could we think about moving the date of Australia Day celebrations to another day'. One that is less offensive to most Indigenous people.

I did ring them earlier and was just in time to hear June Mills of the Mills Sisters, from Darwin, singing on the Chai Tent Stage, I told Michael he should get her to sing Waltzing Matilda, as sung by the old people, it's a classic, "Walching ba Matilda, walching ba Matilda who'll come a walching ba Matilda longa me........" He said she had sung it already.
But that was earlier in the afternoon. While I was chatting on phone to Liffey, I began to hear that very song being sung again, so Liffey went in closer and held the phone out, so I got a tiny taste of the atmosphere in the tent, and I sang along, laughing, I do love that version.

I will add 2009 photos in here whenever I get something from Benny, with his camera, down there.
Speedy McGuiness, Aunty Isabel Coe, Aunty Marie ?, and a Japanese walker from Sydney,2007.
Nungala Leanne Lacy, Winiata,on guitar, Ots on Djembe, and Paul Ferguson, 2007

Here's a link to a photo, Australia Day 2009 by naemick. that has this list of quite interesting historical dates regarding the origins of Anniversary day that later became Australia Day,
I've now copied and pasted below, seeing that I don't have any photos yet of Chai Tent at this years Sovereignty Day Gathering.

Captain Arthur Phillip unfurls the British flag at Sydney Cove and proclaims British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia

First recorded celebrations on 26 January

Governor Macquarie recommends the adoption of the name Australia for the entire continent, replacing New Holland

Governor Macquarie holds the first official celebrations on 26 January, marking thirty years of white settlement

First Anniversary Regatta held on Sydney Harbour. This is now the Australia Day Regatta, the oldest continuous sailing regatta in the world

Celebrations held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Phillip's landing and the commencement of the traditional Australia Day public holiday in New South Wales

Australian Natives Association formed. Instrumental in supporting issues such as Federation, the naming of our national day as Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies following WWI

Centenary celebrations for Anniversary Day across the nation Centennial Park permanently reserved for public use

January 1, Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia

Australia Day adopted in Victoria

Australia Day adopted in NSW only to be reversed to Anniversary Day by the incoming state government

Commonwealth Government and all States and Territories except NSW adopt Australia Day as the official title for our national day

150th Anniversary celebrations across the nation

All States and Territories celebrate the 26 January as Australia Day

Separate Australian citizenship became law for the first time Citizenship ceremonies began to become part of Australia Day celebrations

Sir Macfarlane Burnet the first Australian of the Year

Lionel Rose becomes the first Aboriginal Australian of the Year

26 January the Aboriginal Tent Embassy established on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra

National Australia Day Council formed, incorporated in 1990

Australia Day Council of NSW formed, initially operating as part of the NSW Bicentennial Council

Bicentennial celebrations and for the first time a united public holiday on the 26 January across the nation Modern Tall Ships and First Fleet Re-enactment arrive in Australia. Largest Aboriginal protest march in history on 26 January

Inaugural Survival concert held at La Perouse, now an annual event

All States and Territories begin to celebrate Australia Day on the actual day - the 26 January - for the first time

Over 6.5 million Australians celebrate Australia Day nationally

Centenary of Federation celebrated. Though the date was January 1st, many communities combined Australia Day and Centenary of Federation celebrations.

Over 7 million people celebrate Australia Day nationally.

7.5 million people attend Australia Day ceremonies nationally. This figure is unlikely to fall.



  1. naomelee@hotmail.comMarch 4, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    well remember me im that cheeky chick with the cute daughters . Naomi ninny should still be in your memory as she put on such a preformance at the gathering with you at mullamugamah. We live in melbourne now and miss your loving vibe so i thought id send you a line . Im geting a portfolio of ninnys doings together for future reference so if you have any pictures to ad they would be greatfully appreciated.
    much luv to you all and give brother ots a big sloppy kis for me will you
    yours sincerly naomi lee dreamweaver