January is Sydney Festival, a celebration of art, culture and our city in summer. The Festival began last Saturday with hundreds of thousands of people filling our streets and parks for a stunning Festival First Night.
Along with Festival First Night, my Sydney Festival highlights have been the Jolly Boys in the Speigeltent, Babel at the Sydney Theatre, I am Eora at Carriageworks, an evening with Ira Glass at Sydney Town Hall and Assembly at the City Recital Hall. Tomorrow night I will be joining many other Sydneysiders to listen to Mike Patton and Tango Saloon reviving music from the 50s and 60s at Summer Sounds in the Domain. Symphony in the Domain is next Saturday, featuring some of Sydney Symphony Orchestra's most talented young performers.
This week I announced Taronga Foundation as the official charity partner for the 2012 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival. 2012 is the year of the dragon, and the Foundation is doing great work both here and overseas to protect endangered species like the Komodo dragon. Our Chinese New Year Festival runs from 20 January to 5 February and includes celebrations of Chinese food, culture and art.
The news this week that potential developers of the Darling Harbour Convention Centre & Sydney Entertainment Centre precinct are being encouraged to remove the Monorail is welcome. As a City Councillor in the 1980s I joined many others in opposing construction of the monorail. I believed then that light rail was the better option for linking Darling Harbour to the city centre and I'm pleased that many others are now reaching the same conclusion.