The National Capital Authority (NCA) manages the Australian Government’s continuing interest in the planning, promotion, enhancement and maintenance of Canberra as the national capital. Canberra is Australia’s ‘gateway’ for interaction with the international community and the appropriate place for significant international events and gatherings. The heart of the National Capital provides unique venues for cultural and ceremonial occasions of local, national and international interest.
Commonwealth Place is located within the Parliamentary Zone on the southern foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. It offers spectacular views across the lake, along Anzac Parade to the Australian War Memorial in the distance. Close by are major attractions including Parliament House, national institutions and the International Flag Display.
Commonwealth Place features a ‘cupped square’ grass amphitheatre which includes Speakers Square (a paved area that provides a focal point for entertainment and ceremonies). The flagpole is often used by diplomatic missions in Canberra who wish to hold a flag raising ceremony to celebrate their national day or other date of significance. Magnificent waterfront views, the backdrop of the Parliamentary Zone and the central location make Commonwealth Place a venue of choice for special occasions.
Flag raising ceremonies are typically 15-30 minutes in duration and can be followed by a reception at nearby function venues such as the Waters Edge Restaurant, the Lobby Restaurant or the Deck at Regatta Point.
What to do
To arrange a flag raising ceremony, your mission will need to:
- Approach the NCA to book the venue.
- Submit to the NCA a completed event application form.
- Submit to the NCA a separate works application form for any structures associated with the event, such as tents, marquees, signage, fences, platforms or stages.
- Attend an on-site meeting with NCA staff.
- Obtain the permit and/or works approval.
- Attend a post event inspection of area.
The diplomatic mission is encouraged to talk to the NCA at least 8 weeks before an event – allow sufficient time to plan properly.
Approval of events involving structures attracts a works approval fee of $25.00. There is also a $25.00 deposit require for the loan of any NCA keys.
Power outlets are available at Commonwealth Place.
Risk and Indemnity
All events involve some degree of risk. Diplomatic missions will be required to complete a form indemnifying the Commonwealth or its agents against claims that may result from the event. For large events a risk management plan may be required. An indemnity form and risk management template is available from the NCA.
Diplomatic missions are responsible for leaving the site clean and tidy. If the existing facilities are inadequate for the type and scale of the flag raising event, the diplomatic mission should arrange and pay for additional waste management and cleaning.
Your event checklist
- Organise approvals with the NCA.
- Liaise with other agencies (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Federal Police, etc).
- Arrange all security, catering and waste management requirements.
- organise musical entertainment and/or
- Produce and distribute invitations
to your guests.
- Accept RSVPs.
- Provide equipment (sound system, microphone, lectern, marquees, chairs etc).
- Provide the NCA with the flag of your nation
at least one week before the event.
- Organise photographs of the event.
- Liaise with the media if necessary.
- Consider a wet weather plan.
- Book a function venue if required.