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NT: Thong-throwing and sausage sizzles for NT style Aust Day

23 Jan 2009 2:43 PM

DARWIN, Jan 23 AAP - Territorians will celebrate Australia Day 2009 with backyard cricket, sausage sizzles, thong-throwing competitions and sack races.

>From the outback town of Tennant Creek to the coastal communities of Arnhem Land, revellers in the Northern Territory are gearing up for a weekend of beer, fun and sun.

An early morning run through Darwin CBD will start the day followed by a tri-service flag raising ceremony at the Entertainment Centre.

A 21-gun salute and flypast of up to three F/A 18 Hornet aircraft will take place about midday at the Cenotaph.

Further afield in the desert town of Alice Springs, locals will cut the traditional Australia Day Cake while Palmerston holds its annual Ute Run.

Kids will be treated to a sausage sizzle and "Aussie games" at the NT Wildlife Park.

"There'll be a thong throwing competition, sack races, backyard cricket and a cooee calling competition,' said the park's assistant curator Damian Stanioch.

Meanwhile, reconciliation will be the theme of celebrations at an Aboriginal community in a remote corner of Arnhem Land.

People from Galiwin'ku, on Elcho Island, will symbolically welcome white people to the community with a re-enactment.

"They said 'We would like you to get on the boat in a British uniform and carry a bible instead of a gun ... then you get onto the beach in the name of peace not confrontation," said shire services manager John Ives.

Yolngu and Australian flags will then be raised together, while locals perform a flag dance as the national anthem is played.

"(We) will celebrate sharing country with others and will see the community coming together to celebrate this day for all Australians - indigenous and non-indigenous alike," East Arnhem Shire said in a statement.

"Galiwin'ku will establish its own Australia Day story."