Closing comment – Ceremonies “celebrate what’s great” about our country

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Ceremonies are an important part of many cultures. They commemorate small and large acts of valour and courage. They celebrate significant milestones and transitions. And they bring people together with a common purpose.

Earlier in the week it was America’s time for a ceremony. The inauguration and swearing in of President Obama. No one can say the US doesn’t know how to put on a good show – Beyonce belting out the national anthem, FLOTUS creating a retail sensation with her fashion choices and a marine corps band.

In the wave of reports about the ceremony there was an interesting post on HBR blog about the importance of ceremonies – not only for the people up on the stage but more so for the people watching from their seats or the grass (depending on your ticket).

That got me thinking about the importance of ceremonies and the ceremonies we follow every year.

Tomorrow it’s Australia’s turn for a ceremony or two. We will celebrate Australia Day across this diverse continent that we call home with formal and informal ceremonies.

Formal ceremonies will include the welcoming of new citizens to our shores – a truly moving occasion for those starting new lives in a new country. There’s also the ceremonies to announce the Australian of the Year – who will it be in 2013? Plant, mineral or actor?

Informal ceremonies range from the gatherings around barbecues across Australia, parties to countdown the triple j 100 and family ceremonies filling the parks and beaches down under.

Ceremonies form an important part of communications activities too. They mark the beginning and end of projects and initiatives. They require speeches, staging and careful planning. They also provide an opportunity to bring a range of stakeholders together.

Now what to consider when staging your next ceremon:

  • who will sing the national anthem or mark the occasion with an ppropriatelyhemed song?
  • – have you got enough flags and other items the audience can wave and add colour and movement?
  • – will the keynote address send chills down everyone’s spines?

Enjoy your Australia Day and spare a thought for those staging the big ceremonies of the day.

Cheers,

Jack and the c word crew

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