The catchcry of “Aussies together” encapsulated the central theme of Poatina’s Australia Day celebrations.
The Poatina Family Festival had been celebrated on January 26 for 21 years, before the community made the decision to celebrate the nation’s holiday on January 27 for 2018.
A procession lead by the City of Launceston RSL Pipes and Drums band ushered in the opening ceremony, followed closely by a parade of colourfully dressed children.
Opening ceremony presenter Luke Morgan expressed the community’s desire to change the date of its festivities by pointing to a mural of painted hands on display at the festival.
“In Poatina we want to create a place where everybody can come and belong,” he said.
“[We changed the date] because we wanted everyone to be able to come here and come with integrity and feel they could celebrate together.”
People from all across the world were in attendance for the celebration, including Indonesia, the Netherlands and England.
A performance of the song We are Australian, accompanied by a dance routine from local children, capped-off the opening ceremony.
Lead by performance veteran Sinead Bell, the children donned flags of countries from all over the world during the performance.
“I did it when I was three every year until I was 11, then I decided I was too old to do it, but now I’m running it,” she said.
“We’re trying to get across the message that Australia is such a multicultural place, and the idea of all the flags is that they all come under the Australian flag.