Get into Aussie spirit

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Shire coun­cils and busi­nesses have put much plan­ning into mak­ing next week’s Aus­tralia Day a vi­brant cel­e­bra­tion of why we live where we live — or as the day’s slo­gan says, ‘‘cel­e­brate what’s great’’.

Thurs­day may be a day off with a free break­fast or bar­be­cue but for a few, Aus­tralia Day will be mem­o­rable as the day they be­came Aus­tralian cit­i­zens.

Some­times the for­mal as­pect of Aus­tralia Day gets over­shad­owed by the fun, but for those mak­ing their af­fir­ma­tion next week those cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies are of­ten the cul­mi­na­tion of a long jour­ney.

The Na­tional Aus­tralia Day Coun­cil says cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies are an in­te­gral part of Aus­tralia Day, with tens of thou­sands of peo­ple be­com­ing Aus­tralian cit­i­zens on Jan­uary 26 each year.

The Aus­tralian Cit­i­zen­ship Af­fir­ma­tion can be in­cluded as part of ev­ery cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony and gives the whole com­mu­nity the op­por­tu­nity to af­firm their loyalty to Aus­tralia and its peo­ple.

It is also be in­cluded at other events, such as at school as­sem­blies or work­place events, to help peo­ple ar­tic­u­late or learn about our shared Aus­tralian val­ues.

The af­fir­ma­tion says sim­ply: ‘‘As an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, I af­firm my loyalty to Aus­tralia and its peo­ple, whose demo­cratic be­liefs I share, whose rights and lib­er­ties I re­spect, and whose laws I up­hold and obey.’’

Pya­long’s Aus­tralia Day Cel­e­bra­tions will be­gin at 11 am, fol­lowed by re­fresh­ments and Neigh­bour­hood House sec­re­tary David Waye was pleased to re­port that the cel­e­bra­tion will in­cor­po­rate, for the first time at Pya­long, the Mitchell Shire Cit­i­zen­ship Cer­e­mony.

‘‘The Aus­tralia Day Am­bas­sador, Dr Milosh Ivanovich, is an inspiring se­lec­tion, and when you read his bi­og­ra­phy, you will see that he is an apt choice for the role for this year,’’ Mr Waye said.

An out­stand­ing aca­demic back­ground saw Dr Ivanovich go from a nine-year-old im­mi­grant who didn’t speak English, to at­tain­ing his PhD in In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy by the age of only 22, af­ter he was the youngest full-time stu­dent at that time to en­rol at Monash Univer­sity.

Now a se­nior wireless tech­nol­ogy ex­pert with Tel­stra, Dr Ivanovich may be heard on Mitchell Com­mu­nity Ra­dio, OKR FM, which will con­duct an out­side broad­cast on the day, be­gin­ning at 9 am.

In Seymour, Kings Park will be taken over by en­ter­tain­ment and com­pe­ti­tions all day with a break­fast from 8 am to 10 am and ac­tiv­i­ties such as tug-ofwar, jump­ing cas­tle, golf, Seymour car club dis­play and sheep shear­ing.

Other towns putting a spring in the Aus­tralia Day step with cer­e­monies, guest speak­ers and awards in­clude Avenel, Long­wood, Strath­bo­gie, Nagam­bie, Broad­ford, Kil­more, Wal­lan and Wan­dong/Heath­cote Junc­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.mitchell­ aus-day or www.strath­bo­

Blue, red and white: In the Aus­tralia Day spirit.

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