Australia Day celebrations

Lismore’s Australia Day ambassador, the past president of Surf Life Saving Australia, Alan Whelpton AO.
Lismore’s Australia Day ambassador, the past president of Surf Life Saving Australia, Alan Whelpton AO.

There are several events happening around the region to celebrate Australia Day next Thursday, January 26, including an awards ceremony in each local government area where Australia Day Award winners will be announced.

Below is a summary of some of the activities people are welcome to attend.


There is an Australia Day ceremony at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre from 8.30am which includes a citizenship ceremony to welcome 11 new citizens from nine different countries and presentation of Australia Day Awards across 10 categories. For the first time, the Australia Day ceremony will provide community members with the opportunity to reaffirm their Australian citizenship by making an Australian Citizenship Affirmation. Affirmations are voluntary and they are open to all residents whether or not they are Australian citizens. There will also be a presentation by this year's Australia Day ambassador, Sydney businessman and immediate past president of Surf Life Saving Australia, Alan Whelpton AO, and entertainment by local jazz musician Laura Nobel.

A free morning tea will be provided by the Lismore Lions Club following the ceremony. For more information, phone 1300 878 387.

Richmond Valley

He's performed in the Sydney Olympic ceremony and now Russell Adcock will be cracking the whip at Richmond Valley Council's Australia Day ceremony.

By the time he was six, Russell Adcock was entering in whip cracking competitions and by the age of 10 he was the juvenile Australian champion. Russell went on to win another juvenile and a junior championship before deciding to give competition a break.

This 29-year old descendant of the Wamba Wamba people of the Swan Hill district in Victoria, Russell has been named both the Victorian and the Australian Aboriginal Youth of the Year.

Russell will preside at the official ceremony at the Casino Showground from 8am. There's a BBQ breakfast, followed by the awards handover, then some traditional races (including egg-and-spoon and sack) and a whip-cracking workshop with Russell. To conclude the celebrations there will be a limited over cricket match between the Casino Cavaliers and the President's Eleven (a team of local people representing the Show Society president). For more information phone 6662 3566.


Ballina Shire will hold its Australia Day ceremony in Lennox Head this year from 8am to 1pm at the Cultural & Community Centre. Dr Ross Walker, an eminent cardiologist and health presenter on Channel Nine, will be the ambassador.

The day includes a large market at Williams Reserve plus kids' activities from 9am to 12pm run by the Byron Bay Kidz Club including parachute games, tug-o-war and free face-painting. There will also be plenty of live music in the park, the official ceremony from 9am and lots more. For info, phone 66861 457.

Bullinah Cultural Festival

The Bullinah Cultural Festival is a celebration aimed to educate and break down ethic and social barriers by integrating Australian and Aboriginal history in a fun and social atmosphere.

The event is at Missingham Park Amphitheatre from 10am to 3pm with games for young and old, open mic entertainment and other fun activities including fashion parades, storytelling, cooking competitions and plenty of games for kids.


The Bangalow Historical Society Museum and Tea Room will present the inaugural Bangalow Australia Day Fair this Australia Day as well as a free Australia Day breakfast.

"This year, we've decided to lift our game and add a bit of razzamatazz to the day, so working together with local market organiser Garry Rodgers, we're holding our first Australia Day Fair in the museum grounds," Bangalow Historical Society president Wendy Grissell said. "In the shade of the well-established trees surrounding our lawns, we'll have a diverse range of market stalls open between 8am and 2pm backed by live local entertainment. The stalls will be offering bric a brac, local jams and preserves, honey, local produce, organic chocolate, jewellery, spices and candles, flowers, books and gifts."

At the tea rooms there will also be a free brekkie from 8am to 11am, during which Bangalow's 'Living Treasure for 2012' will be announced. From 12-2pm, the tea room will be selling a set two-course Australia Day lunch for $15 a head. There will also be a photographic exhibition An Historical Overview of Byron Bay, which will run until the end of February.

For more information phone 6687 2183.

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