Access all areas so everyone can celebrate NYE

Access all areas so everyone can celebrate NYE

NYE13 Creative Ambassador Reg Mombassa will appear larger than life this New Year’s Eve, when a video of him using sign language to say ‘Welcome to Sydney’ is projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.

Media note: video footage of Reg signing is available by emailing

Along with Mombassa’s video, welcome messages will be displayed on the bridge in 16 languages, including Gadigal, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Greek, Italian, Swahili, Korean, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese, representing Sydney’s top migrant populations and tourist nationalities.

The special video is just one of the many ways the City of Sydney is working to improve accessibility at Australia’s largest annual event, which attracts 1.6 million to the harbour foreshore, and includes an audio description of the fireworks displays for people with vision impairments.

Mombassa was taught Auslan sign language by a representative from the Deaf Society’s Sign Language Communications.

“When they asked me to do the signing to say ‘Welcome to Sydney’ I thought it would be relatively easy but it is actually a subtle and fluid visual language and it took quite a few goes to get a simple message to make sense,” Mombassa said.

“It is great to think that hearing impaired people will be able to follow the audio commentary along with everyone else.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City would again be offering a range of services to ensure people living with disabilities were able to fully enjoy Sydney New Year’s Eve.

“We’re committed to making Sydney accessible all year round and New Year’s Eve is no different from any other night,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Everyone should have the ability to join in our free fireworks celebration and we’re making that possible by increasing the number of Spectator Services staff, who will ensure people can get the information and advice they need.

“We’re also publishing step-free maps showing the most easily accessible routes to vantage points, and producing an audio description of the fireworks displays for people with vision impairments.”

The 2.5 hour audio description of the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays will be available on radio station 2RPH AM, FM, digital and online.

It will include commentary of the celebrations as well as special behind-the-scenes interviews with Mombassa, the Lord Mayor, Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti and NYE Producer Aneurin Coffey.

A dedicated accessibility page on the official NYE website,, will also provide information about accessible transport options and boasts an interactive vantage point map that highlights accessible facilities around the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

For a safe and enjoyable 2013 Sydney New Year’s Eve:

  • Download the NYE13 app to receive live updates about the event;
  • Choose a vantage point in advance and be aware popular areas fill up quickly;
  • Plan ahead if you’re heading to the harbour foreshore and take public transport;
  • Remember not to take glass to the event, and place rubbish in the bins provided;
  • Tune your radio to 104.1 2DayFM to hear the synchronised fireworks soundtracks; and
  • Watch the live broadcast on ABCTV, from 8.30pm-12.30am.


For more information and high-resolution images, visit
Twitter: #NYESYD
Download the free NYE13 app here: and here


2013 Sydney New Year’s Eve is proudly sponsored by Citibank, Telstra, 2DayFM, APN Outdoor, News Ltd, Twitter, Production Resource Group, Technical Direction Company, Action Sound, Brown-Forman, Carlton & United Brewery, Coca-Cola Amatil, De Bortoli Wines, Heir of The Dog, Imagination, Interface, Scarborough Wine Co, The P.A. People, The Menzies Sydney, The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, The Royal Australian Navy, NSW Maritime & RMS, Office of Environment & Heritage, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Sydney Opera House Trust and Sydney Ports.


For media enquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus, phone 0467 803 815 or email
interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Tyron Butson on 0427 044 768 or email


                                                                      The 2013 Sydney New Year’s Eve charity partner is   Engineers Without Borders Australia, a member-based not-for-profit   organisation with 10-years-experience in creating systemic change through humanitarian   engineering by:

  •   Working   in partnership to address a lack of access to basic human needs such as clean   water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, basic infrastructure, waste systems,   information communication technology and engineering education;
  •   Educating and training Australian   students, engineers and the wider community on issues including sustainable   development, appropriate technology, poverty and the power of humanitarian   engineering; and
  •   Leading a movement of like-minded   people with strong values and a passion for humanitarian engineering within   Australia and overseas.