2006 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

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2006 Commonwealth Games
opening ceremony
Comm Games 2006 finale.JPG
Date15 March 2006 (2006-03-15)
Time20:00 – 22:30 AEST
LocationMelbourne, Australia
Coordinates37°49′12″S 144°59′0″E / 37.82000°S 144.98333°E / -37.82000; 144.98333Coordinates: 37°49′12″S 144°59′0″E / 37.82000°S 144.98333°E / -37.82000; 144.98333
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The Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games was held on 15 March 2006 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ceremony was conceived and produced by Jack Morton Worldwide, which also produced the ceremonies for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.


A boat in the Yarra River with an artificial fish over it, featuring the culture of one of 71 participating nation at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Fireworks at the Yarra River during the opening ceremony

Countdown and welcome[edit]

The "flying tram" featured in the Opening Ceremony, sitting on a Melbourne street map.

The ceremony began with the temporary stage on the playing ground of the Melbourne Cricket Ground lighting up with previous host cities. The flags of Australia (current host), England (previous host) and India (next host) were raised. Surf boats which represented each of the past 18 host cities were on the Yarra River as were flags of the participating countries. A W-class Melbourne tram with wings attached was lowered into the stadium. A performance followed based on a poem by Michael Leunig, involving a boy with a duck which was an artificial one at first, and koalas, (people dressed in koala 'suits'). At the end of the display, the boy came into the Stadium with a real white duck. The opening ceremony had many themes, including Melbourne's Wurundjeri Indigenous heritage and Melbourne's fickle weather. The role of the boy was performed by 12-year-old (almost 13) Sean Whitford, who had been selected from thousands of candidates. Australian rock band The Church played Under The Milky Way to accompany a performance by the Australian Ballet, with aerial work performed by students of the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).

Parade of nations[edit]

Contrary to tradition, the nations did not enter the stadium in alphabetical order, but by regions of the Commonwealth. European nations entered the stadium first, followed by those from Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean and finally, Oceania. English athletes and officials entered the stadium first (as the host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester) while the host nation, Australia entered last. The athletes entered with The Cat Empire playing a specially written musical 'set', tailoring music to specific regions.

Queen's baton[edit]

The final leg of the Queen's Baton Relay included the baton being handed to the 16 captains of the Australian Football League across the floating flags and fish along the Yarra River. After each of the captains had carried the baton, the last of the captains handed the baton to Ron Barassi, who walked on a semi submerged pontoon, giving the effect that he was walking on water (some commentators joked that the stunt "proved what most of us suspected"). Barassi then handed the baton to Herb Elliott.

CGF flag hoist[edit]

The Commonwealth Games Federation flag was then brought into the stadium by eight Young Australian of the Year recipients. The athlete's oath was taken by Adam Pine.

Queen's birthday celebration[edit]

Harry White, a 13-year-old boy, who was youth ambassador, presented a message to Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. After a rather controversial furore before the start of the Games regarding the decision by the Organising Committee not to include God Save the Queen[1][2][3] in the Opening Ceremony, a Happy Birthday medley was sung by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in tribute of the Queen's 80th birthday (37 days hence), ending with eight bars from God Save the Queen.[4] Michael Fennel, the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation then spoke.

Queen's baton handover[edit]

The final bearers of the Queen's Baton were all former elite world-class athletes who had successfully competed at both the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. They were:

Opening of the games[edit]

The Queen then read the message of greeting which she had placed in the baton (366 days earlier on Commonwealth Day, 14 March 2005), declaring the games open.

In the end[edit]

Australian singer Delta Goodrem sang Together We Are One, the theme song for the 2006 games while many fireworks were ignited, within the stadium, on the backs on roller-bladers circling the singer, and fireworks were also ignited on the banks of the Yarra, as well as the floating pontoons, and Melbourne's larger skyscrapers.

Ceremony key team[edit]

The ceremonies were produced by Jack Morton, Artistic Director and Executive Producer Andrew Walsh with Producers David Proctor (Opening Ceremony), Adam Charles (Closing Ceremony) and Keith Tucker (River).

Parade of Nations[edit]

In a break of tradition the teams entered the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games by regions, instead of by alphabetical order.

Last host nation

England England - 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.


Cyprus Cyprus | Gibraltar Gibraltar | Guernsey Guernsey | Isle of Man Isle of Man | Jersey Jersey | Malta Malta | Northern Ireland Northern Ireland | Scotland Scotland | Wales Wales

Then followed the African countries.

Botswana Botswana | Cameroon Cameroon | The Gambia The Gambia | Ghana Ghana | Kenya Kenya | Lesotho Lesotho | Malawi Malaŵi | Mauritius Mauritius | Mozambique Mozambique | Namibia Namibia | Nigeria Nigeria | Seychelles Seychelles | Sierra Leone Sierra Leone | South Africa South Africa | Eswatini Swaziland | Uganda Uganda | Tanzania United Republic of Tanzania | Zambia Zambia


Bangladesh Bangladesh | Brunei Brunei Darussalam | India India | Malaysia Malaysia | Maldives Maldives | Pakistan Pakistan | Singapore Singapore | Sri Lanka Sri Lanka


Belize Belize | Bermuda Bermuda | Canada Canada | Falkland Islands Falkland Islands | Guyana Guyana | Saint Helena St Helena


Anguilla Anguilla | Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda | The Bahamas Bahamas | Barbados Barbados | British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands Cayman Islands | Dominica Dominica | Grenada Grenada | Jamaica Jamaica | Montserrat Montserrat | Saint Kitts and Nevis St Kitts & Nevis | Saint Lucia Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines St Vincent & the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad & Tobago | Turks and Caicos Islands Turks & Caicos


Cook Islands Cook Islands | Fiji Fiji | Kiribati Kiribati | Nauru Nauru | New Zealand New Zealand | Niue Niue Island | Norfolk Island Norfolk Island | Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea | Samoa Samoa | Solomon Islands Solomon Islands | Tonga Tonga | Tuvalu Tuvalu | Vanuatu Vanuatu

Host nation[edit]

Australia Australia


The opening ceremony was broadcast in Australia on the Nine Network. It was one of the highest rating programs of 2006 with 3,561,000 viewers across the five metro areas.

The BBC showed coverage in the UK.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Games organisers stand firm". The Age. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  2. ^ "The Advertiser: No 'God Save The Queen' at Games [27feb06]". 13 March 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  3. ^ "AM - 'God Save the Queen' dumped for Commonwealth Games opening". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. ^ Hogan, Jesse (3 March 2006). "Opera star to sing royal anthem". The Age. Retrieved 6 August 2018.

External links[edit]