Rejoicing in Bendigo's new citizens

COMMUNITY spirit will be sky high on Saturday, when Bendigonians gather at Lake Weeroona to take part in Australia Day celebrations. 

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is co-ordinated by the Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst and funded by the City of Greater Bendigo. 

Official proceedings kick off at 10.30am and include a flag-raising ceremony conducted by the Navy Cadets.

About 36 people from countries including the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sudan and South Africa will be naturalised in an Australian citizenship ceremony. 

Speeches will be conducted by Mayor Lisa Ruffell, CEO Mr Craig Niemann, Citizen of the Year winners Amethyst Downing and Linda Beiharz and Rotary Club president Doug Lougoon.

Councillors, local members of Parliament and guide and scouts groups will also be in attendance to assist with the proceedings. Luke Owens is this year’s Australia Day ambassador. 

Bendigo Sandhurst Rotary Club member Peter Rainey said everyone was welcome to attend the event.

“It is a great family day where people can reflect on what it means to be an Australian citizen,” he said. 

He said there would be plenty of entertainment on hand to keep the kids occupied, including face painting, arts and craft and prize giveaways. 

Performing on the main stage are bands CODE One, Bendigo Independent Musos and the Brave Babes.

A range of community groups will attend including the volunteer coast guard, wildlife rescue groups and Amnesty International.  

There will be a market, with stall holders displaying arts and craft and local produce, while classic and vintage cars will be exhibited from the Astronomical Society. 

A barbecue and refreshments will be available for lunch. 

Australia Day events guide


Barbecue breakfast and entertainment starting at 8am and the official ceremony at 8.45am.

Venue: Axedale Hall Park, High Street, Axedale.

Contact: Yvonne at Axedale Our Town Our Future Inc on 0417 318 246.


From 9am to 5pm. 

Venue: Lake Weeroona, Napier Street, Bendigo.

Contact: 5434 6000.

Pool Party

The Bendigo Aquatic Centre Pool Party is proudly presented by MIC UP Productions, the City of Greater Bendigo and the FReeZA Program Committee. Music will be the focus of the day and entry will be free all day on Australia Day. 

Venue: Bendigo Aquatic Centre, Barnard Street.

Lamington Sale

All funds raised by the lamington sale will be donated to The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation so it can continue teaching marginalised children to read and write. 

Venue: Officeworks Bendigo, 297-305 Hargreaves Mall, Bendigo.


Free breakfast, official ceremony at  9.30am and Eaglehawk Citizens of the Year will be announced.

Venue: Canterbury Park, Simpsons Road, Eaglehawk.


Barbecue breakfast, citizenship ceremony, musical entertainment, awards presentations.

From 8am to 10am.

Venue: Aquatic Reserve, Heygarth Street, Echuca.


From 8.45am to 11.45am. Flag-raising ceremony coordinated by Girgarre Community Cottage.

Venue: Girgarre Reserve, Winter Road.


Celebrations from 4pm to 9pm.

Beach Party in the Bush, free barbecue, activities, entertainment and Citizen of the Year presentations.

Venue: Goornong Swimming Pool, Bagshot Street, Goornong.

Golden Square

Advance Australia Fair at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged.

From noon an Australia Day lunch will be held for residents, their friends and families, with a barbecue served by staff. After lunch local band RayDar will entertain the crowd with their unique take on 40s and 50s music.

Venue: Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged, Taylor Street, Golden Square.


Community breakfast co-ordinated by Gunbower Angling Club from 7.30am to 9am.

Venue: Angling Club Jetty, Gunbower Recreation Reserve, Gunbower Island Road.

n Flag-raising ceremony at 10am with Australia Day ambassador Bill Bell and morning tea co-ordinated by Gunbower Memorial Hall Committee.

Venue: Gunbower Memorial Hall, Murray Valley Highway.


Official ceremony and barbecue breakfast from 8am.

Venue: Epsom Green Village, Howard Street, Epsom.

Contact: Geoff at the Lions Club of Huntly-Epsom on 5448 7045.

Kangaroo Flat 

Starts at 8am. Breakfast and entertainment at 8.30am and official ceremony at 9am. Please bring your own seats.

Venue: Dower Park, Station Street, Kangaroo Flat.

Contact: Lions Club of Kangaroo Flat on 0411 664 886.


From 5.30pm to 9pm. Community barbecue, yabby races and flag-raising ceremony co-ordinated by Koyuga Memorial Hall Committee.

Venue: Koyuga Hall, O’Dea Road.


From 7.30am to 9.30am, breakfast, flag-raising ceremony with Australia Day ambassador Paul Wheelton and award presentations co-ordinated by Kyabram Rotary Club.

Venue: Kyabram Memorial Gardens, Allan Street.


From 12.30pm to 3pm, flag-raising ceremony, barbecue lunch, fun and games for the family, with the pool open to the public. Co-ordinated by Kyvalley Community Park and Pool.

Venue: Kyvalley Community Park and Pool, 519 Scobie Road.


Breakfast at 8am co-ordinated by Lockington Lions Clubs. 

Venue: Lions/Apex Park, Lockington Road.

n 10am flag-raising ceremony with Australia Day ambassador Ann Peacock and a children’s fishing competition co-ordinated by Lockington Lions Clubs.

Venue: Lockington Channel, Singer Road.


Camp Quality Australia Day celebrations with local bands, whip cracker, face painting, horseshoe throwing competition, barbecue, auctions, horse and buggy bush rides and much more. There will be a bush theme, with a major prize for the craziest Aussie outfit. Cost is $10 per person or corporate packages available for $35 per person including the first drink and finger food all day. Bring your own deckchair, blanket and shade.

Venue: Lynnevale Estate Winery, 

83 Cahills Road, Mandurang.

Contact: Glen or Hilary on 0411 873 788.


Dinner at 7pm co-ordinated by the Milloo CWA.

Venue: Milloo Hall, Milloo Hall Road.

Newstead Australia Day Market and Fair

From 8am to 2pm, come and see quality art and craft, local produce stalls, food, refreshments, farm animals, roving musicians, busking competition and raffles. 

Venue: Newstead Primary School, Lyons Street.

Contact: Louise on 0429 949 171 or email


Barbecue breakfast at 8am co-ordinated by Rochester Lions Club.

Venue: Lions Park, corner Echuca Road and Elizabeth Street.

Flag-raising ceremony at 9.30am with Australia Day ambassador John Forbes OAM and minor awards ceremony co-ordinated by Rochester and District Australia Day Committee.

Venue: RSL Garden, Victoria Street.

Dinner at 7pm, Australia Day Awards presentations and citizenship ceremony.

Venue: Rochester Sports Club.


From 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Flag-raising ceremony with Australia Day ambassador Shawn Cosgrove, concert and awards presentation. Co-ordinated by Rushworth and District Australia Day Committee.

Venue: Rushworth Shire Hall, High Street.


Flag-raising ceremony at 9.30am. Co-ordinated by McEwan CWA.

Venue: McEwan Place.

Australia Day ambassador Doug Christie, awards presentation and morning tea.

Venue: Community Hall, McEwan Place.


Official ceremony at 8am and free barbecue breakfast.

Venue: Wellington Way Shopping Centre, Strathfieldsaye.

Contact: Garth on 0418 267 122.


Flag-raising ceremony at 11am  co-ordinated by Tongala and District Australia Day Committee.

Venue: Soundshell, Mangan Street.

Presentation of awards art 11.15am, festivities with Australia Day ambassador Craig Opie, citizenship ceremony and barbecue lunch.

Venue: Tongala Public Hall, Mangan Street.


n 11am flag raising ceremony with Australia Day ambassador Peter Keenan, Rushworth Bank, Colbinabbin Singers and awards presentations co-ordinated by Toolleen Recreation Reserve Committee of Management.

Venue: Toolleen Community Centre, Cornella Tooleen Road.


From 6.30pm to 10pm. Flag-raising ceremony and barbecue tea. Co-ordinated by Wyuna Memorial Hall Committee.

Venue: Wyuna Memorial Hall, Alfred Road.

PROUD: Arthur and Mabel Wright are ready to become Australian citizens on Saturday. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

PROUD: Arthur and Mabel Wright are ready to become Australian citizens on Saturday. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY


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