Communities across Greater Bendigo are gearing up to celebrate Australia Day on Friday, January 26.
Events will be held at Lake Weeroona, Axedale, Eaglehawk, Huntly, Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully, Mia Mia, Heathcote, Elmore, Junortoun, Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square and Goornong.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Jennifer Alden said Australia Day was a chance for all Australians to celebrate what they value about where they live.
“Wherever you are, whatever you do and however you celebrate, I hope you take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in Australia and especially Greater Bendigo,” Cr Alden said.
“Our community is a safe, inclusive place where all cultures can come together to share in the joy of living here.
“There are so many ways you can mark the public holiday – attending a community event, having a barbeque with family or friends, or splashing about at one of the local pools.”
Australia Day will also see free entry to all Bendigo’s outdoor swimming pools – Bendigo Aquatic Centre, Bendigo East, Brennan Park, Elmore, Golden Square, Goornong, Heathcote, Kangaroo Flat, Marong, Raywood and White Hills.
Local community groups have been hard at work planning ceremonies and events for the national holiday.
“Thank you to the many community groups that are helping to stage events across the municipality, your time and energy is greatly appreciated to ensure that we have a way of celebrating together,” Cr Alden said.
The City of Greater Bendigo will hold a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day at Bendigo Town Hall.
Forty-one people from Iraq, Brazil, South Korea, India, the Philippines, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Myanmar, Israel, United States of America, France, Cyprus and Thailand will become Australian citizens.
Cr Alden said it was important to note not all members of Bendigo view Australia Day as a celebration.
“It is important to remember that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other members of our community do not see Australia Day as a day of celebration, and it is important we are respectful of this.”
CITY OF GREATER BENDIGO AUSTRALIA DAY COMMUNITY CELEBRATION EVENTS – JANUARY 26
- Bendigo (Lake Weeroona) – From 9am to 3pm. Official ceremony at 10.30am. Hosted by Rotary Club Bendigo Sandhurst with a barbecue, live entertainment, family activities, community displays and Rotary art and craft market
- Axedale (Axedale Hall Park) – From 8am to 10. Official ceremony at 8.30am. Hosted by Axedale Our Town Our Future with a barbecue, flag raising, live music and award presentations
- Eaglehawk (Canterbury Park) – From 8am to 10.30am. Official ceremony at 9am. Hosted by Rotary Club of Eaglehawk Australia Day Committee with a live radio broadcast, free community breakfast, Australia Day Ambassador guest speaker, Councillor address, flag raising ceremony, live music performance, presentation of Eaglehawk Citizen of the Year.
- Huntly (Garden of Remembrance) – From 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Official ceremony 6.30pm. Hosted by Huntly Epsom Lions Club with free barbecue dinner, musical entertainment, jumping castle.
- Strathfieldsaye (Strathfieldsaye Shopping Centre) – From 9am to 9.45am. Official ceremony at 8.45pm. Hosted by 1st Strathfieldsaye Scout Group and Strathfieldsaye Lions Club with a free barbecue breakfast, civic ceremony, face painting, group displays.
- Maiden Gully (Maiden Gully Community Centre) – From 7.30am to 9am. Official ceremony at 8am. Hosted by Lions Club of Maiden Gully/Marong with a barbecue breakfast, civil ceremony, live music and a jumping castle.
- Mia Mia (Mia Mia Mechanics Institute) – From 8am to 10am. Official ceremony at 8am. Hosted by Mia Mia Mechanics Institute Committee with a breakfast barbecue, guest speakers.
- Heathcote (Barrack Reserve) – From 9.30am to 11am. Official ceremony at 9.30am. Hosted by Lions Club of Heathcote with barbecue breakfast provided, official ceremony, local performers.
- Elmore (Railway Square) – From 8.30am to 10.30am. Official ceremony at 9.15am. Hosted by Elmore Progress Association with barbecue breakfast provided, guest speaker and live music.
- Junortoun (CFA Junortoun) – From 8am to 10am. Official ceremony at 8.30am. Hosted by Junortoun Community Action Group and Junortoun CFA with a barbecue breakfast provided.
- Kangaroo Flat (Dower Park Sports Oval) – From 8am to 10am. Official ceremony at 8.30am. Hosted by Lions Club of Kangaroo Flat with barbecue breakfast, civic ceremony and musical entertainment.
- Goornong (Goornong Swimming Pool) – From 2pm to 7pm. Hosted by Goornong Swimming Pool Committee with water activities throughout the afternoon and a free community barbecue at 5pm.
- Golden Square (Community Pool) – From 8am to 5pm. Official ceremony at 9.30am. Hosted by the Golden Square Community Pool with a free community barbecue, official ceremony, games, competitions and prizes throughout the day, and live entertainment.