Swiss National Day Picnic 2023 Review

Mark Hodges, MP
Member for Castle Hill

Swiss National Celebration Day

The Swiss National Day Picnic was held on 6 August 2023 at the Castle Hill Showground. The day was organised by the Swiss Yolders of Sydney and The Swiss Folk Dance Company Alpegruess. The day celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Federal Constitution.
The National Picnic Day was attended by Swiss compatriots, friends and families and it was a great day. There were stalls offering Swiss delicacies, barbeques, Swiss Chocolates, Raffles and Silent Auctions, games for the children.
Those present were honoured by the attendance of Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, National Councillors Yvonne Feri and Thomas Aeschi as well as Swiss Ambassador Caroline Bichet-Anthamatten. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis said:
“Australia is still one of Switzerland’s favourite non-European destinations, and this afternoon, with you and your warm welcome, I can easily see why.”
“Switzerland and Australia are united in the values they share and democracies like ours, can gain much from each other, despite global challenges and crises.”
On behalf the Castle Hill community I congratulate the President of the Swiss Yolders of Sydney Alios Krez and the event organisers. I look forward to next year’s Picnic Day.

Sponsors Thank you


Swiss Yodlers Picnic at Castle Hill 2022

Our Annual Family Picnic over time has become one of – if not THE – highlight(s) in the Swiss Australian Community Life, bringing together many friends and rare, even first-time visitors from near and far away.

Whereas previously we were honoured to welcome “some special guests” (we remember e.g. the visits of a member of the Swiss Federal Council (Bundesraetin) in Plumpton, or more recently The Swiss Army (with the Australian Navy) Bands, this year would have to stand out for the unexpected () number of loyal followers, friends, “fans” and new faces , who all turned out to enjoy a Perfect Winter’s Day after the cancellation of 2 previously planned outings. The preceding gusty winds on Saturday and rain periods in the weeks leading up to “our Big Day” gave way to pleasant Sunshine warming our hearts and minds. The seemingly unending stream of people queuing up for Food and Drinks (and Amusement Rides for our Children) kept our Helpers on their feet all day long.

It is with gratitude that we wish to thank all those who assisted with the work and many tasks leading up to and on the day  …. we call them “Our Willing Hands” , and in this place – for fear not to forget anyone as important as they all are for whatever help they assist with – we just say ‘A BIG THANK YOU” including our Leader(s), their Spouses and Partners and friends they “invite” for and encourage to help. Thank you also to our numerous Sponsors and Donors (listed in this Website), all proceeds will allow the Club to participate at the Swiss Eidg. Jodlerfest in Zug in June 2023 (an event to be held in Basel also cancelled twice) – We say Thank You also the Members of The Swiss Australian Community and their friends for being part of this great day. We look forward to saying “Hello and Gruezi” (and “Bonjour, Salute and Viva La Grischa”) again next time around.

50-Year Anniversary


The 50th Anniversary celebration of the Swiss Yodlers of Sydney was held over the last weekend in September at Riverview College, Lane Cove.

Over 300 people attended the festivities including former members from as far as Switzerland, guest, sponsors, friends and curious Swiss folklore – loving people.

Yodler groups arrived from Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, New Zealand, together with a choir from Canberra, as well as our closest friends from the Sydney dance group “Alpegruess”.

Together with guests attending hte Oceania Swiss Club Presidents Conference ( hosted by the Swiss Club of NSW) taking place on Saturday, all groups went on a harbour cruise on Friday evening, where there was much camaraderie and a lot of singing whilst taking in the sites of our beautiful harbour City.

Harbour Cruise Friday Night Pictures – click here.

While the Presidents Conference took place on Saturday, other guests went on a city sightseeing tour. At the same time, the Sydney groups were preparing final details for a successful event.

A great well-organised spectacle with the Jubilee Dinner took place that evening with each group performing in a different style and together with the dance group was a huge success. The opening words of the Committee President, Peter Pluess, and our Consul General, Bernadette Hunkeler Brown, reflected in a fantastic way how Swiss traditions abroad are part of our lives. All presentations were highly entertaining and of high standard. The finale of the combined choir was certainly the musical highlight of the night. Over 100 Yodlers cant’t be wrong.

Each club was presented with a trophy and our thanks were extended to Peter Pluess for chairing the organising committee and to Astrid Perry for her role as MC for the evening. Well done! the whole event was truly ‘Swiss at its best’!

Gala Dinner Saturday Night Pictures – click here.                         Gala Dinner Saturday Night VIDEOS – click here.

A farewell BBQ breakfast was held on Saturday morning. The venue was perfect for our guests to mingle, many making promises to meet again, and on Sunday evening, we enjoyed dinner at the Willoughby Hotel together with the New Zealanders, who performed a haka for us. A fitting farewell!

Breakfast Sunday Morning Pictures – click here.


Thank you all again to all helpers, supporters and promoters and see you again when we celebrate our next big birthday.



Swiss National Day Picnic 2018

Swiss National Day Sunday 5 August 2018

The Swiss National Day celebrations were again a huge success this year.Despite the strong winds the day before, the setting up of the market stalls finished just in time.

We wish to thank the Ambassador Mr. Pedro Zwahlen, his wife Mrs Yasmine Chatila Zwahlen, Ambassador to Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and also the Consul General, Mrs Bernadette Hunkeler Brown and her husband Nigel for attending the event.

The highlight this year was being able to welcome the Small Swiss Military Band together with the combined Australian Army / Navy band, both of which gave rousing performances. Our thanks go to the embassy for organising the bands to attend.


Swiss Yodlers Harbour Cruise 2018

Swiss Yodlers Harbour Cruise 25 February 2018

The Swiss Yodlers look forward to welcoming you on board for an evening of entertainment provided by the Yodlers with traditional Swiss music. With the background of the Sydney harbour, the scene will be set for the most enjoyable time on board the old ferry ‘M.V. Vagabond Star’.


Swiss National Day Picnic, 2017

The sun shone brightly, the wind blew gustily and the crowd came willingly!

What a wonderful day it was and being able to welcome our newly arrived, first female Consul General, Mrs. Bernadette Hunkeler Brown and her husband Nigel to the Yodlers annual Swiss Community, 1 August Celebration.

With a new look band in place, the stage was set for an inclusive celebration with various groups from our local community running stalls and local Swiss market stalls as well.

The day cannot come together without the help of our hard working volunteers and the generosity of our sponsors, who make this day possible.

So until next year,

Alois Kretz






Harbour Cruise 2017

Again this years Harbour Cruise was a great event with some terrific weather.

Our first daytime harbour cruise was held on Sunday, 26 February and proved a great success by all on board.  Guests were entertained by the alphorns and hand orgeli players whilst waiting to embark. The weather defied the forecast and the harbour sparkled, delighting visitors from Germany and Switzerland.  The yodellers did a great balancing act during their performance as the ferry was sailing  over wake from other vessels. We would like to thank the Consul General, Mr. Ernst Steinemann and his partner Mrs.Edit Hueck for their attendance and support over the past few years and wish them every success in their new posting.
Below is a link to some pictures, enjoy!

Swiss Festival, Melbourne

As a group. we were invited to perform at the Melbourne Swiss Festival 2016 at South Bank on Sunday 8 October 2016, together with the alphorn players. We also combined with the Melbourne Matterhorn Yodel Choir to sing Kammerade. A highlight of the entertainment was the performances by the Guggemusik Band from Auckland, NZ. One could say it was hair raising – partly due to the gale forced wind which did not let up the whole day and which caused blackouts throughout the State of Victoria.

Swiss Festival in Melbourne



Swiss National Day Picnic

The highly reviewed and always successful Swiss National Day (organised by the Swiss Yodelers of Sydney and The Swiss Folks Dance Group Alpegruess) at Castle Hill Showground was once again a great success with many patriotic visitors braving the cool weather to join in the festivities. The variety of stalls kept everyone busy by offering many Swiss delicacies and products. The BBQ proved to be very popular with bratwurst, cervelats and fleischkäse available. The tombola prize list was fantastic this year and many attendees won great prizes. There were also many attractions for the children, including a huge selection of rides, a petting zoo and bottle fishing.


We would like to acknowledge and say thank you to all our great sponsors  that supported the Picnic.






Harbour Cruise 2016

The annual Harbour Cruise was most enjoyable; the weather and a bigger, better boat provided a perfect ambience for a relaxed and musically rewarding evening. Ruth served up our favourite fare, “Chrigu” from Melbourne entertained us with his “Schwyzerörgeli”, and the Yodlers’ performance was greatly enhanced by the good acoustics aboard the “Vagabond Princess”