Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Carols in the Domain

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Christmas, pop

Founded by
Robyn Hobbs

Years active

Carols in the Domain

Last Sunday before Christmas

The Domain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Carols in the Domain is an annual Christmas concert event held in the Domain Gardens in Sydney. It began in 1983, and features many national and international performers and guest appearances. it is broadcast around Australia on the Seven Network and simulcast on Smooth FM. The free event is held on the last Saturday before Christmas. From 2016 it will be held on the last Sunday before Christmas Day. and has become one of Australia's largest free Christmas events.



Carols in the Domain was started by Robyn Anne Hobbs, who observed Christmas carol events in Australia and wanted to develop one for Sydney. In an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, she said "I suppose I started Carols in the Domain from a purely selfish point of view because I'm an only child and Christmas and birthdays were always wonderful occasions to celebrate and yet Sydney didn't really have a major Christmas celebration." She had worked with Qantas and chose The Salvation Army as the charity. The first Carols event was held in 1983 and was attended by 15,000 people. Hosts have included Andrew Daddo, who has presented the event on seven occasions, followed by Grant Denyer, 5 occasions, Kate Ritchie, 3 occasions and Barry Crocker, on 3 occasions, others include Noni Hazlehurst and John Jarrett

Hobbs was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM – General Division) in 2009 for services to the community in founding Carols in the Domain and her fundraising efforts for the Salvation Army

The main sponsor is designated with naming rights. In 1989, the main sponsor was Esso. In 1996, the main sponsor was Pacific Power, however, because the government had split up the company, they could not fund the sponsorship, but the state government stepped in to sponsor the event, pledging over AUS$300,000. The event was televised for the first time to New Zealand on TVNZ and Southeast Asia on Australia Television. The Sydney Morning Herald also became a sponsor for the event.

In 1997, the naming rights sponsor was RAMS Home Loans. In 2004, the event was called "The Good Guys Good Kid Carols in the Domain". In 2005, the naming rights were assumed to be The Good Guys again, but Woolworths acquired the naming rights and renamed the event to "Woolworths Carols in the Domain", and has retained the name since. As a mark of respect, organisers of the 2014 Carols in the Domain considered cancelling the event because of the Martin Place siege which took place in Sydney earlier that week, but instead decided to hold it, on Saturday 20 December. The 2014 Carols attracted approximately 80,000 people, and also included a tribute to those killed during the siege. Mark Vincent opened the evening by singing You Raise Me Up in honour of the victims, and a minute silence was held.

It was hosted by David Koch, Samantha Armytage, Natalie Barr and Mark Beretta. Three of the four hosts sang that evening; Armytage and Koch performed a duet of Frank Loesser's "Baby, it's cold Outside", and Barr sang Olivia Newton-John's "Christmas on my Radio".

Major sponsors

The sponsors for the 2016 event are:

  • Woolworths Supermarkets
  • Disney
  • Cadbury
  • Air New Zealand
  • smoothfm
  • New Idea
  • Salvation army
  • NSW Government
  • Sheraton on the Park
  • Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney
  • Charity

    Carols in the Domain supports both The Salvation Army and The Salvation Army OASIS Youth Support Network through the sale of candle bags during the performance. Oasis seeks to assist homeless youths aged between 16–24 in the inner city of Sydney with emergency housing, case management and training.

    List of past events

    All events have included a visit by Santa Claus, and music from local orchestras and choirs.


    Carols in the Domain Wikipedia

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