Christine Nixon Australia Day Ambassador

Horsham will welcome former Victoria Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon as its Australia Day Ambassador.

Council is planning a return to its popular in-person event at Sawyer Park on January 26, pending COVID restraints.

It all starts with a free barbecue breakfast from 7am followed by a flag raising ceremony and presentation of the Australia Day Awards from 8am.

The morning’s formalities will also include citizenship ceremony and Auntie Anne Moar will perform the welcome to country.

Council is also supporting Australia Day celebrations at Dadswells Bridge and Brimpaen.

A free barbecue breakfast and entertainment will be on offer at Brimpaen from 8am before the formalities start at 9am. At Dadswells Bridge, proceedings will start at 11.30am followed by a light lunch.

Natimuk will not host a ceremony this year.

Mayor Robyn Gulline said Council was honoured to have Ms Nixon AO APM attending in Horsham.

“Christine has dedicated her career to serving our Victorian community, playing a pivotal role in assisting people during times of emergency and when communities most need support,” she said.

“Christine will be without doubt, an inspiring ambassador with a wealth of experience to share. I look forward to having her join us for our Australia Day celebrations and hearing her share her story with us all,” Cr Gulline said.

As the former Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ms Nixon was accountable for 14,000 staff, more than 500 stations and an annual budget of $1.7 billion during her time in the role.

Her legacy in the position was a decrease in Victoria’s crime rate, a proactive response against corruption among senior police officials and a cultural overhaul of the organisation that saw the attrition rate decline from seven per cent per annum to less than three per cent.

Following the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, she oversaw the largest recovery and rebuilding operation Victoria had ever undertaken. Under her leadership, the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority worked with communities, businesses, charities, local councils and other governmental departments to help people and communities recover and rebuild.

Cr Gulline said Australia Day was a chance to say thank you and congratulations to various award winners for their contribution to our community.

“Wherever you are and whatever you do, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in Australia and especially the Wimmera,” Cr Gulline said.

“It is also important to remember that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and some members of our community do not see Australia Day as a day of celebration. It is important that we acknowledge this and continue to build greater understanding, respect and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

“Council appreciates the participation of Aboriginal elder Anne Moore at our ceremony in Horsham, especially as we gather and welcome new citizens into our community.

“Thank you, also, to the local community groups that help stage Australia Day events across the municipality. Council appreciates your efforts and the respectful way in which these events are conducted.”

The events will be COVIDSafe and managed according to current Coronavirus restrictions and Council’s event policy. Attendees will have to be vaccinated and check-in using the QR code.

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