Horsham is gearing up for Australia Day activities on Sunday.
The community will come together at Sawyer Park to celebrate our national day with Australia Day Ambassador Dr Bernard Jenner OAM set to join the festivities.
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 where Horsham people from Scotland and Botswana will officially become Australians.
Dr Jenner is a consultant paediatrician, family therapist and former head of paediatrics at the University Hospital Geelong and St John of God Hospitals. He believes the strength and success of a society is ultimately judged by the way the most vulnerable are cared for.
Council is also supporting Australia Day celebrations at Dadswells Bridge, Natimuk and Brimpaen.
A free barbecue breakfast and entertainment will be on offer at both Natimuk and Brimpaen from 8am before the formalities start at 9am.
At Dadswells Bridge from 11am, Helen Curkpatrick and Wendy Donald will be guest speakers and refreshments will be provided.
Mayor Mark Radford 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 Radford said.
“We have access to great schools, excellent healthcare, good sporting facilities, international and local arts and culture and beautiful natural surrounds.
“There are so many ways to mark the public holiday – attend a community event, have a barbeque with family or friends, or splash about at one of the local pools, take a paddle down our river or jump on the bike for a pedal. As it’s a long weekend, some people might plan a trip to Mount Arapiles or the Grampians
“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 Jennifer Beer at our Australia Day 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.”