Under the sweltering sun, a crowd of hundreds packed into Kings Park to watch the raising of the giant word “country” as part of the “Welcome to country” ceremony.
Each letter’s frame was filled by indigenous artists using natural flora.
One by one, the letters were slowly raised to the sounds of a didgeridoo and music by composer Graeme Leak.
Bird calls were provided by the Arawang primary school year six choir, who also sang on a paddle steamer on the way to the raising of the words.Arawang primary school student Aidan Giddings, 11, says it was a “pretty special experience.”
“We’ve been rehearsing for weeks for this, it was a lot of fun to be part of it,” he says.
Onlooker David Walkem, of Waramanga, found the ceremony “moving.”
“I thought it was beautiful, the representation of two cultures,” he says.
After the words were raised, the Hall marching band and noise orchestra marched away towards the lake, with children able to grab a drum and join in.
As a finale, a plane etched the word “Walter” into the clear blue sky.