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Sydney Flag Congress Proceedings VENUE congress flag excursions
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Companion Programme
  The schedule of events for the 26th International Congress of Vexillology is set out below. The programme is now final.

Accompanying persons will participate in some events with delegates and additional activities are planned for some of the periods when the lectures are taking place at the Venue. These consist of a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, a bus tour of Sydney's Northern Beaches and an opportunity to have a personal encounter with Australian Wildlife at Taronga Zoo. Organised activities are intended to showcase Sydney whilst leaving sufficent spare time for individuals to pursue their personal explorations. Each excursion includes lunch.


  Sunday, 30 August 2015    
  4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Confirmation of Arrival for delegates and companions - Grace Hotel, 77 York Street (corner of Clarence, King and York Streets). Registration will be in the Kirralaa Room on Level 2.  
  5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Informal welcome drinks and catch-up at The Grace Hotel, in the Marra Room on Level 2. Will include cold and hot canapés.  
  Monday, 31 August 2015  
  9:00 am - 9:45 am Official Opening Ceremony - at Congress Venue    
  9:45 am - 2:00 pm

Opera House Tour and Heritage Sydney Walk

Includes guided tour of Opera House. We will start at the venue and take a slow guided walk (mostly downhill 1.8 km) along Macquarie Street to the Opera House. This will take us past many of the museums and heritage public buildings of Sydney. Alternatively, companions can meet the group at the Opera House.

The A$75 charge includes Opera House guided tour ticket cost and an Australian tasting plate lunch at the Opera Kitchen with views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour.


Opera house oncert hall
  2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Free time    
  4:15 pm - 7:30 pm

Sunset Harbour cruise (includes drinks and canapes)(included in registration)

M.V. Jerry Bailey is a 21.5 metre long catamaran with a large main deck, upper deck and viewing areas on foredeck and side decks. Be at Pier 8 at King Street Wharf before 4:15 pm - vessel departs wharf within 15 minutes of arrival as vessel can't stay at public wharf beyond its allocated time.

Jerry Bailey
  Tuesday, 1 September 2015    
  9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Companions - bus tour of Sydney's Northern Beaches. We will travel by coach to some of Sydney's famous beaches. Sydney has over 80 ocean and harbour beaches and we will visit some of these and enjoy some headland views. No swimming is expected, but a chance to walk along the beach and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean at Manly Beach.

The A$50 charge is for the cost of the bus (partly subsidised by the Sponsors).

The coach will pick up from near the Grace Hotel and return companions to Observatory Park, where delegates will be enjoying a flag display. A catered light lunch will be available. Afterwards, for those who want to explore the Rocks area, we will guide a stroll back to the venue. Otherwise there will be buses to return delegates and companions to the Congress Venue

  beach scene
  2:00 pm - evening Free time. Note that delegates will be in the FIAV meeting from 4:00 pm and there is an FOTW meeting from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.    
  Wednesday, 2 September 2015    
  7:00 am - 11:30 am

Bus travel to Canberra - pick-up at Grace Hotel, Menzies Hotel and near corner of Clarence and Par Streets. Sorry for the early pick-up time, but it's a long way to Canberra. A "breakfast pack" will be provided on the bus and there will be a 30 minute rest stop and morning tea enroute. There is no capacity to delay the buses, even if you tell us you are "almost there".


  11:40 am - 2:45 pm

Accompanying persons can choose to visit the Australian War Memorial with the delegates or visit the National Gallery of Australia. A bus will leave the Australian War Memorial Annex and take companions to the National Gallery.

The National Gallery has a large permanent collection and a series of special exhibitions. The main galleries are: Australian, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, European & American, Asian and Pacific Arts and an outdoor sculpture garden with a view of the National Carillion on an island in Lake Burley Griffin. In each genre, the collection ranges from early works to contemporary artists.

Accompanying persons will be free to explore the gallery at their own pace. Lunch wil be in the Gallery Cafe, with each delegate given a cash amount and able to have lunch at a time of their own choice.

The Art Gallery is part of a precinct of public buildings including the National Portrait Gallery, High Court of Australia, and Old Parliament House. Companions may choose to have an explore if the art does not captivate their attention. However it is essential to be back at the Art Gallery by 2:45 pm for the bus pick-up.

Mount Ainslie Lookout, which offers panoramic views of Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin will be seen by the companions when they join delegates at the Australian War Memorial.


inigenous art

  4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Australian Parliament House

Opened in 1988, most of Parliament House is built into Capital Hill. An 81 metre flagpole made from stainless steel flies an Australian flag 6.4 x 12.8 metres as symbol of the nation's legislature. Not the largest, but certainly the most dramatic flagpole.A guided tour will include a close-up look at the main flagpole from the garden roof and the main foyer with its large marble staircase leading to the Great Hall and the Chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives. Included in the public spaces are numerous Australian paintings and sculptures and a 1297 copy of the Inspeximus issue of the Magna Carta (one of only four such copies in the world).

  parliament interior
  5:15 pm - 6:00 pm Visit to the Avenue of Flags on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The flags of all the countries with embassies and high commissions in Canberra are displayed. A late afternoon tea will be provided.  
ACT flag display
  6:00 pm Bus departs Canberra for Sydney  
  8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Dinner at Mittagong RSL Club (hot and cold buffet, included in fee)  
  11:00 pm - 11:15 pm Arrive at Sydney hotels  
  Thursday, 3 September 2015    
  9:20 am - 2:30 pm

Australian Wildlife Visit - a guided tour of Taronga Zoo, focused on Australian Wildlife, including personal encounters with a koala. We will meet outside the Apple Store and catch the 555 Free Bus at 9:20 am. Otherwise, meet at Circular Quay Wharf No. 2 and we will travel by ferry to Taronga Zoo by ferry departing 9:50 am. Ferry tickets will be provided. The zoo has a spectacular setting on the harbourside with the giraffe enclosure having one of the best harbour views in Sydney. We will catch the Sky Safari cable car to the top of the zoo, and the walking on the guided visit will be either on flat ground or downhill.

We will finish with lunch at The View à la carte restaurant in the Zoo grounds, which is included in the excursion fee. We will return to the City via the ferry.

  Friday, 4 September 2015    
  9:00 am - 6:00 pm Free time    
  6:00 pm - 9:30 pm Closing Dinner and Awards   RACA

ICVs traditionally end with a banquet, which includes the announcement of various awards by FIAV.

The location for the Closing Dinner is the Royal Automobile Club Australia, 89 Macquarie Street. The charge is additional to registration fees for delegates and companions, though the cost is partly subsidised by the Sponsors. The evening includes pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the ISC Room and dinner is served in the elegant Macquarie Room, accompanied by beer, wine and soft-drinks.




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