Get into Aussie spirit
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.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/ aus-day or www.strathbogie.vic.gov.au
Blue, red and white: In the Australia Day spirit.