Citizens and heroes honoured lakeside
- by Lisa Wachsmuth
The founder of Sydney Harbour’s BridgeClimb urged those attending Shellharbour’s Australia Day celebrations to never give up on their dreams.
Paul Cave, the city’s 2017 Australia Day ambassador, certainly didn’t. In 1989 he set himself a two-year plan to get people climbing on Sydney’s iconic bridge, but it would take nearly a decade before his vision was realised.
‘’Sometimes it’s best not to know how long the journey is going to take – life is often not one marathon, but a multi-marathon with achievements along the way,’’ he said.
The festivities on the foreshore started with Breakfast by the Lake and included entertainment until 2pm.
Citizens and heroes were honoured, with Shellharbour St Vincent de Paul Society president Anna Leschnik awarded Citizen of the Year for 2017. She dedicated it to her fellow volunteers who she said made the city ‘’a more inclusive place for people who need a hand up in their lives’’.
Warilla High School student Piper Rye was named Young Citizen of the Year, for volunteer work with organisations including KidzWish Foundation: ‘’To me there’s no better reward than a smile someone’s given purely because you’ve helped them’’.
Community Hero awards were presented to four young boys involved in two rescues at Warilla Beach last year.
Celebrating community at Kiama
- by Brendan Crabb
There were plenty of opportunities for residents throughout the Kiama municipality to celebrate Australia Day.
The action kicked off on Wednesday night with an outdoor movie screening of Eddie the Eagle, which drew an estimated crowd of almost 400 people to Hindmarsh Park.
Australia Day Breakfasts took place at Gerringong (South Werri Reserve); Jamberoo (Kevin Walsh Oval); Kiama Downs (Jones Beach); and Kiama (Coronation Park, Surf Beach) on Thursday.
A Citizenship Ceremony also took place at Hindmarsh Park and Joyce Wheatley Community Centre.
A total of 28 new Australian citizens were welcomed at the ceremony, with about 240 people in attendance.
Kiama Mayor Mark Honey estimated it was “probably the biggest Citizenship Ceremony held in Kiama”.
The speaker was Amy Wilkins, presenter of Active Kidz, an internationally screened health and fitness TV show for children.
Ms Wilkins has also been a national Heart Foundation Ambassador and Juvenile Diabetes Ambassador.
Sydney-based Ms Wilkins said this was her fourth active year as an Australia Day Ambassador.
She attended the Kiama celebrations with eight-year-old daughter Lulu.
“I usually get sent out to regional areas and I enjoy that,” Ms Wilkins said.
“But I have a young daughter this year at home, so we actually have a holiday place at Gerroa, and I was able to be sent (somewhere) local this year which was great.”
Ms Wilkins said she “loved the sense of community on Australia Day, and I love being a part of communities”.
“I like meeting people, talking to people and hearing their story and giving the Australia Day address,” she said.
She said her address incorporated this year’s ambassadorial theme of ‘Everyone, Everywhere’ and aimed to promote inclusiveness.
“I like to think of Australia Day as everyone being part of Australia, everywhere… It’s just everyone enjoying this amazing country that we have,” she said.
“We really do have an amazing country and we’re very lucky.”
Carole Johnston, strategic tourism and marketing manager at Kiama council said several hundred people attended each of the breakfasts.
Alan and Judy Canning, Jamberoo residents of 50 years, visited the Surf Beach event.
“Hopefully it brings people together,” Mr Canning said of the celebrations.
“Just like today, everyone gets together, nationalities get together and all that sort of thing.
“(My favourite part of Australia Day) is just the people really.
“It’s not often that you get people to come out together like this for a day, and this is only one of the places (in the municipality hosting events).”
There was also an Evening Concert in the Park scheduled at Hindmarsh Park.