The Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and on the adjacent Yarra River, was structured around a series of interlocking stories.
It began with Melbourne's Welcome to the World. Then, the audience were introduced to the Boy whose journey of discovery and imagination followed throughout the Ceremony. He was accompanied by a transforming duck, inspired by the work of Melbourne cartoonist and writer Michael Leunig. The unexpected entrance of a flying tram made fun of Melbourne's image and set the stage for the dramatic aerial events told in the story Imagine Australia. The story was divided into three segments: The Boy on the Bay, My Skin My Life and Rendezvous.
The Boy on the Bay was a playful account of childhood and the world of imagination, into which the boy was drawn by his duck.
My Skin My Life was a more reflective segment, exploring Aboriginal connections to the land and the boy's growth of understanding about the world around him.
Rendezvous made connections between unlikely people, symbolized by ballerinas and bike riders.
The Boy's journey ended with 'wisdom, joy and innocence'. The Finale exploded with a daring pyrotechnic display, capturing the excitement of the competition to come.
The formal parts of the ceremony included the official opening of the Games by Her Majesty the Queen, the Athletes' Parade and the entrance of the Queen's Baton.