Australia Day Ambassador for Wollongong City is the internationally acclaimed author Nikki Gemmell.
Ms Gemmell is the author of thirteen novels and four works of non-fiction, including Shiver, The Bride Stripped Bare, and Why you are Australian. She is also a regular columnist for The Australian newspaper. Her works have been translated into 22 languages.
“An Ambassador for our city from our city is a real bonus,” said Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM.
“Ms Gemmell is an outspoken woman in the media and is recognised as one of the ‘fifty most important writers’ at present. We look forward to hearing her story at Australia Day 2020.”
Council’s Australia Day activities kick off from 8am on Sunday 26 January with a range of activities around Wollongong Harbour, Osborne and Lang parks and culminating in a light show at 9pm.
Cr Bradbery said he was pleased to welcome her back to Wollongong.
Ms Gemmell will attend the Australia Day launch on 15 January, The Awards Dinner, a citizenship ceremony and the official welcome on Australia Day.
“I’m a born and bred Gong girl,” Ms Gemmell said, “I’m thrilled and honoured to be the 2020 Australia Day Ambassador for Wollongong. I was born in Wollongong hospital and spent a happy childhood on the foothills of Mount Keira and my years at wonderful Keiraville Public School inspired me to be a writer.
“To me, Wollongong has it all. It has stunning natural beauty with the escarpment nudging up to the sea, a vibrantly diverse community, a dynamic university, a buzzing CBD, great transport links and the city vividly embraces entrepreneurs and innovators. Wollongong represents the best of Australia, and I’m so proud to be a ‘Gong Girl’.
“Australia Day is a time for celebrating our wonderful region. And it’s a special moment where we can welcome new citizens to this treasure of an Australian city with great pride and warmth.”
Ms Gemmell will provide the Welcome Speech on Australia Day at the main stage in Osborne Park, from 12.45pm.