Queenslanders are joining family, friends and new Australian citizens to celebrate freedom and diversity this Australia Day at beaches, backyards and barbeques.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is observing the day in Townsville, joining members of the Australian Defence Force for flag raising and citizenship ceremonies at Jezzine Barracks and Australia Day awards.
“Australia Day is a time for all Australians – new citizens and old – to come together with respect, mateship and pride,” the Premier said.
“In doing so, we commit to community and harmony and pay our respects to First Nations peoples – the Traditional Owners of this land.
“We celebrate our national day with thoughtful awareness of the past.
“More than land, we share the values which form the foundation of our democracy – a fair go, a helping hand for those in need, equality, respect, and opportunity.
“It is my pleasure to be in Townsville today, honouring the servicemen and women of our Australian Defence Force who make enormous sacrifices to serve and protect this country.”
The Australia Day Flag Raising ceremony is an initiative of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and includes an ADF Royal Guard of Honour; Band of the 1st Battalion; raising of the Australian, Queensland, Townsville, Governor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags; and a traditional 21-gun salute and RAAF flypast.
“From Italy to India, New Zealand to The Philippines, thousands of people born and raised beyond our shores now call Townsville home,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This city has helped settle hundreds of refugee families, embodying the true spirit of mateship.
“And not only in Townsville, new Australian citizens are being welcomed throughout the state today, plus the multicultural Great Australian Bites events which capture the positive energy of an Australian barbeque with food stalls, activities and entertainment.”
Great Australian Bites is being held in six regional Queensland locations – Townsville, Airlie Beach, Bundaberg, Hope Vale, Rockhampton and Warwick.