Australia Day 2023 saw the Hawkesbury proudly welcome 32 new Australian citizens originating from Canada, Ukraine, Germany, Bangladesh, India, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, France, the Philippines and South Africa.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), was the Presiding Officer for the ceremony and was accompanied by his wife, Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley.
The Governor-General of Australia is His Majesty The King’s representative. In practice, Australia’s Head of State. The Governor-General, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force, was welcomed by the 336 Squadron Air Force Cadets from RAAF Base, Richmond. The Cadets provided a Guard of Honour for His Excellency and Mrs Hurley upon their arrival.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Sarah McMahon t
hanked His Excellency and Mrs Hurley for their roles in the ceremony and for coming along to the Hawkesbury District.
‘It has been a great honour to welcome Their Excellencies to the Hawkesbury once again,” Mayor McMahon said.
Mayor McMahon said “We thank His Excellency and Mrs Hurley for their past and ongoing concern and support of the Hawkesbury community following the major bushfires of 2019/2020 and the six floods over subsequent years. It is heartening for all of us. Whether we are citizens through birth or by choice, Australia Day is a chance for all Australians to take pride in our citizenship; to celebrate our democratic values and to think about what unites us as Australians.”
During the ceremony, native plants from the Hawkesbury Community Nursery were presented to all new citizens by Her Excellency Mrs Hurley as a citizenship gift.
As part of his visit, Their Excellencies met with Reverend Chris Jones at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Windsor and toured the Dyarubbin public exhibition at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery.
Federal Member for Macquarie Ms Susan Templeman, State Member for Hawkesbury Ms Robyn Preston, Hawkesbury Police Area Commander Superintendent Andrew Gardner, RAAF Base Richmond Air Commodore Bradley Clarke, CSC, OAM and Hawkesbury City Councillors also attended. Ms Erin Wilkins performed a Welcome to Country as part of the event.
The ceremony was hosted by Hawkesbury City Council at the Don’t Worry Oval in Windsor, NSW and supported by the Department of Home Affairs.