Get ready to raise the roof on our day
Alicia Perera looks at the events taking place this Australia Day in the region.
Australia Day is an ideal time for relaxing with family and friends as we pause on January 26 to appreciate the good things about the place where we live.
With a host of community events and parties on around the region, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the national day this year.
City of Karratha
The public holiday will start with formalities at the City of Karratha’s Australia Day Awards breakfast at the Karratha Leisureplex from 9am-11am.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the awards were a fitting way to thank “grassroots heroes” across six different categories.
“Our annual City of Karratha Australia Day Awards provide us with an opportunity to recognise those people who, through their leadership and generosity, make the community a better place,” he said.
“Our recipients are community champions and it is a pleasure to formally acknowledge and thank them in this ceremony.”
Then in the afternoon, 36 people will become Australian citizens at a ceremony at the Karratha Leisureplex.
From 4pm-7pm, entry to the Leisureplex pool will be free and an Aussie barbecue and bakery, music and children’s activities will all be on offer, as well as the return of popular community showcase the Love Where You Live Expo from 4pm-7.30pm.
More action begins at 7.30pm when entertainers Walter Whip and the Flames perform a whipcracking show and fireworks will light up the sky at 8pm.
In Wickham, entry to the Wickham Recreation Precinct will be free from 9.30am until midday for a pool party featuring a children’s aqua run from 10am-11am and a free sausage sizzle.
The Karratha International Hotel is holding an Australia Day Pool Party.
The KI chefs will prepare an Australian menu especially for the day and there will be Aussie drink specials available from noon. Music has also been specially selected, with the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown set to play during the day before acoustic music takes over in the evening.
Volleyball and inflatable pool toys including a slip-and-slide for children, will be available at the pool and the Dessert Princess will be on hand from 2pm for facepainting, dancing and games.
Karratha International Hotel duty manager Jack Newbould said the party was a first-time event for the hotel.
“It’s Australia Day, it’s a family day . . . we just want people to have fun,” he said. “There’ll be Austra-
lia Day-themed food, cocktails and drinks.”
The Tambrey Tavern is holding a free event featuring live music by local band Misguided, classic Aussie food, a thong-throwing competition, and a giant water fight.
Ibis Styles Karratha is offering an Australia Day special for lunch, serving up a special plate of roast pork and lamb, straight from the spit with all-you- can-eat salads for $25.
Shire of Ashburton
Each town in the Shire of Ashburton will have its own community event for the national holiday this year.
In Tom Price, the Vic Hayton Memorial Swimming Pool will have free entry from 9am-11am.
The event will feature the Australia Day Awards, a school holiday raft regatta challenge, a DJ, and pool games run by St John Ambulance.
There will also be a free bacon and egg breakfast supplied by Sodexo and cooked by the Tom Price Swim Club.
Tom Price’s Mountain View Sporting Club will celebrate the occasion a few days later, on Saturday, January 28, at an event featuring an outside barbecue and live music from 7pm.
The Onslow Sports Club is hosting an afternoon event packed with activities, including an official ceremony and a sausage sizzle, as well as games, a water slide and a live band.
Paraburdoo residents can celebrate Australia Day at the Quentin Broad Swimming Pool from 4.30pm-8.30pm.
Australia Day Awards, a raft regatta race, pool games, a DJ, a free sausage sizzle by the Paraburdoo Amateur Swimming Club and an outdoor movie screening of Blinky Bill the Movie will be part of the big day.
In Pannawonica, the town swimming centre will host a free Australia Day event from 8am-11am involving an awards ceremony, pool games and and a free breakfast.
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said Australia Day was an important public holiday for residents and the Shire was proud to be putting on free family events in all towns.
“We recognise it is important to celebrate what makes our country such an amazing place to live, which is personified within each of our wonderful towns,” she said.
“It is also a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge outstanding residents who contribute so richly to our communities.”
Shire of Exmouth
In Exmouth, the Shire’s former Australia Day regatta is returning by popular demand after taking a short break.
The boat race will be on at the Paltridge Memorial Pool from 9am-noon and challenges competitors to assemble boats using only plastic bottles of 10 litres or less, tape, and rope.
A free barbecue breakfast will kick things off at 9am, and there will also be an aqua run, an award for the best Aussie costume, and water games for families to take part in.
The Shire of Exmouth Australia Day Awards will be presented at the pool during the morning.
Meanwhile, the Exmouth Yacht Club has partnered with Exmouth Events Management to hold a family-friendly Fiesta By The Sea concert in the evening, beginning at 4pm.
Headlining the entertainment line-up will be Sydney band Kallidad, who will play two sets during the night.
Margaret River band the Lost Thylacines and local DJ Heavy-T will also perform.
Exmouth Events Management owner Branka King said the beachside venue was ideal and the professional performers were sure to get people up and dancing.
“We’ve got Kallidad coming up, they’re absolutely fantastic, a real dance band,” she said.
“We basically want to get everyone down there from 4pm-midnight . . . the kitchen will be open, the music will be playing, and it should be a great night.”
Guests will be able to relax by the pool and food will be provided.
Fiesta tickets are $42 and are available from Exmouth’s Idaho Boutique or online at trybooking. com.
The North family Chelsey, 10, Katrina, Damon, 5, and Andrew at the Karratha Leisureplex for Australia Day last year.
Fireworks will go off at the Karratha Leisureplex.
The Paul family — Tindan, 7, Ochea, 4, Mishai, 1, and Daniel celebrated Michelle becoming a citizen last Australia Day.
Aimee Try, Peter Long, John Lally, Rose Best, Rod Holmes, Tracey Payne, and Ian McGilvray at the Karratha 2016 awards.
Regatta raft races are part of the Australia Day celebrations in several Pilbara towns this year.
Ian McGilvray and Harry Chilvers cook a sausage sizzle at the Dampier Community Association Australia Day barbecue in 2012.