Byron Shire Australia Day ambassador Simon Westaway.
Byron Shire Australia Day ambassador Simon Westaway.

Plenty happening on Australia Day

Australia Day next Wednesday will be marked across the Byron Shire with a host of activities, ranging from the Big Paddle from Wategos to Main Beach to a ‘mullet’ throwing contest at New Brighton.


The party starts early with the annual ‘breakfasts in the park’ at Banner Park in Brunswick Heads, the surf club in Byron Bay and Heritage House at Bangalow.


A free shuttle service will take community members to the Brunswick Heads breakfast from the Mullumbimby newsagency at 7.30am.


The breakfasts will be followed by a family morning at Bangalow, a celebration of the survival of Indigenous culture at Main Beach at Byron Bay, and a fun afternoon at Suffolk Park’s Gaggin Park.


The Byron Bay Golf Club is staging a ‘BBQ Lunch on the Grass’, with Harry Healy paying a tribute to Australian rock music from 3pm.


The celebrations will end with an Aussie tea at New Brighton Oval in Ocean Shores, with the sausage sizzle dinner capped off with the always hotly-contested mullet throwing competition.


The shire’s official Australia Day ceremony will take place from 11am to 12.30pm at the Byron Bay Services Club.


The ceremony highlight will be the conferral of Australian citizenship on about a two dozen Byron Shire residents from afar a field as Brazil, South Africa, France, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.


Mayor Cr Jan Barham said Byron Shire’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony would be a statement of these people’s commitment to Australia.


“From all manner of backgrounds, people choose to forge a life for themselves in Australia and we are proud that our newest citizens have chosen to join our community,” she said.


“This year about two dozen Byron Shire residents will make the commitment to become citizens.


“As a community we will welcome them publicly and acknowledge they bring with them cultural experiences that add to the diversity of our shire.”


The shire’s newest citizens will also be welcomed by Australia Day Ambassador for 2011, actor Simon Westaway.


Mr Westaway is one of several hundred well-known Australians who will visit various communities on Australia Day, thanks to the sponsorship of Woolworths.


He has an impressive list of film and television credits, most recently gaining critical praise for his performance as Mick Gatto in Underbelly, Australia’s highest-ever rating television program.


He has also featured in other television series including Blue Heelers, Small Claims, White Collar Blue, Temptation and Stingers.


Beyond the official Australia Day ceremony, Mr Westaway will also visit many of the other celebrations being held throughout the shire.


The shire’s citizens of the year will also be announced.


Cr Barham said the awards would recognise the contribution the recipients have made to the local area.


“I encourage residents to attend the events on the day and celebrate our community spirit,” she said.


See the full program at council’s website: www.byron.nsw.gov.au.


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