LISMORE City Council will hold a special Australia Day ceremony this Saturday, January 26, at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre where Mayor Jenny Dowell will announce the annual Australia Day Awards.
She will be joined by Page MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore MP Thomas George and Ambassador Benita Collings, a well-known and loved personality after 30 years as a presenter on Play School.
To add a little fun for children and take advantage of this very special 2013 ambassador, the council invites children to bring a Big Ted and have a photo with Benita on the day.
"Families will be able to purchase the photos from a local photographer," Mayor Jenny Dowell said.
"We're very excited to have Benita here as Ambassador to congratulate our award nominees and winners, and to welcome our new citizens. As always the nominees in the Australia Day Awards show us what a selfless and generous community we have - our city is so much richer thanks to their good work, which they often do quietly with no thought of recognition or reward."
Twenty-one people will be taking part in the Citizenship Ceremony on the day from countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Thailand, Switzerland, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Papua New Guinea, Austria, Cuba, New Zealand, Scotland, the United Kingdom and Germany.
"This is a special moment for them and for us as a city," Mayor Dowell said.
"We enjoy a very multicultural community and having these new citizens in our midst just adds to the wonderful cultural melting pot our region already is."
Council will also hold an Affirmation Ceremony which is based on the Australian Citizenship Pledge made by new citizens. The Australian Citizenship Affirmation gives people an opportunity on Australia Day to celebrate the common bind that unites us all. Making the affirmation is voluntary and everyone is welcome to join in.
The Lismore City Concert Band will perform on the day and everyone is invited to enjoy morning tea after the ceremony, kindly provided by the City of Lismore Lions Club.
The 2013 Australia Day Awards ceremony will commence at 8.30am on Saturday, January 26 at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and everyone is welcome.