Australia Day around the Inverell region: schedule

CELEBRATE: Waving for Australia in 2015 were Inverell flag bearers, Gabe Green, Charlotte, Alice and Emma McInnes. Phtot by HAROLD KONZAUSTRALIA Day is almost here, and Inverell is keen to commend the locals that make them proud to be Australian.

The town will gather at Victoria Park from 7.30am on Tuesday to celebrate.

For the first time this year, the paver placed in the Macintyre Lions Path to honour the Citizen of the Year will be laid during Tuesday’s ceremony.

The winner will no longer need to wait a whole year to see their name joining Inverell’s past honoured citizens.

Last year’s winner, Bob Kneipp, who was chosen for his hard work and leadership in many community and charity organisations, will also be there to see his paver laid.

“From next year it’ll just be the 2017 winner,” public relations officer for the council, Barbara Eshman said.

“We’re doing them both this year, so that’ll be a first; which is brilliant”.

Inverell Pipe Band will perform, and local Jemima McLachlan will sing the national anthem.

The Danthonia Youth Choir will captivate with their musical talent.

“It’s really lovely. They’re Australia-related songs and they’re really good,” Barbara said.

Inverell Motorcycle and Vintage Car Club will have a display set up in the carpark near the fire station.

Esther Gardiner will honour the traditional owners of the land with a Welcome to Country.

She will also read one of her poems and raise the Aboriginal flag.

The Macintyre Lions Club will once again be providing a barbecue breakfast to bleary-eyed locals who manage to drag themselves out of bed, and Duane O’Brien will emcee.

Mayor Paul Harmon will present the Australia Day awards for the 2016 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

Senator John Williams will also speak to the town.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and member for New England Barnaby Joyce are unable to attend, but will have messages read out.

Ashford is also set for a big day, with their celebrations starting at 8am with a barbecue breakfast at the Ashford Town Hall. The Australia Day Ambassador Clary Castrission, a state finalist for Young Australian of the Year in 2011 for his commitment to providing education to India’s most underprivileged citizens, will address the gathering.

Cr Di Baker will also attend.

Delungra will welcome Clary after his Ashford appearance for their annual Australia Day activities.

As usual, marshalling for the parade will begin at 9.30am to a 10am start at the Railway Street.

The march, with classic cars, decorated kids’ bikes and residents will proceed down to the Delungra Bowling Club and finish at Anzac Park.

Cr Jacki Watts will be Inverell council’s delegate at Delungra.

The awards presentation will follow the speeches. This year, awards include the Delungra Australia Day Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson and Young Sportsperson.

Committee member Harry McNaughton said they will present several certificates of appreciation to valuable town residents and organisations.

There will be refreshments in the Delungra Hall after the event. Everyone is welcome to celebrate the day at Delungra.

Tingha always looks forward to their Australia Day Lunch at the Sports and Recreation grounds.

Lunch is noon for a 12.30pm start, and reservations at $15 per adults and reduced cost of children must be made with Audrey McArdle by 5pm today on 0408 749 109.

The flag-raising and awards presentation follows the lunch.

This year, awards will include Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson and Young Sportsperson of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

Audrey said the day will include a citizenship ceremony for one of their residents. Residents are encouraged to reconvene in the afternoon at the grounds for a raft of children’s games, film on the footy field and a free sausage sizzle.

Fireworks will conclude Tingha’s Australia Day celebration.

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