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Centenary of Federation

In 2001, Australia celebrated the centenary of Federation, and once again Centennial Park was the centre of many celebrations on 1 January.

A capital works program was undertaken to prepare the area for this event. The program included major landscaping and regeneration of Federation Valley and repairing and restoring Federation Pavilion. The works included the restoration of the mosaic.

Other Federation projects included replanting Parkes Drive and creating the Avenue of Nations, a new entrance to the Park in line with the original vision for a grand western entry connecting Moore and Centennial Parks.

Cultural celebrations held for the centenary focused on the spirit of national unity. Though State capitals held their own civic events, Sydney and Centennial Park were the key sites for celebrations.

A grand parade of 8,000 people including performing artists, marching bands, sports people, seniors, youth, dance groups and Indigenous and ethnic groups started at Circular Quay and travelled through the streets of Sydney to Centennial Park.

The parade was followed by a Federation ceremony attended by the Prime Minister, the Governor-General and all State Premiers.

The day’s festivities concluded with a concert in Centennial Park. These celebrations were broadcast live on television so that all Australians could share the experience.

Marking the occasion

To mark the occasion of the Centenary of Federation, the Australian Government produced a new design for its Five Dollar note - which incorporated a portrait of Sir Henry Parkes and a sketch of the modern-day Federation Pavilion.

You can read more about this at the Reserve Bank of Australia website.