Twelve new citizens to be welcomed

Media release - 20 January 2017

It will be an Australia Day to remember for 12 Macleay Valley residents, as they officially become Australian citizens on the eve of the national day.

The citizenship candidates come from nine different countries as diverse as India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, China, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Kingdom.

Kempsey Shire Mayor, Liz Campbell, will conduct the formal ceremony on Australia Day Eve, 25 January, at the Slim Dusty Centre, South Kempsey.

The event will include a Welcome to Country by Uncle Bob Smith and an announcement of the winners of this year’s Macleay Valley Australia Day Awards in the following categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Group of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year.

There will also be an address from the Macleay’s Australia Day Ambassador, mental health advocate, Nic Newling. Having lived through the experience of suffering with a mood disorder throughout high school and losing his brother to suicide, Nic has since dedicated his life to changing the way mental illness is addressed in schools, workplaces, and communities.

The following day, as part of the wider Australia Day celebrations being held across the Shire, the Crescent Head Lions Club will host its traditional barbecue breakfast at the Crescent Head Rotunda from 7:30am. The winners of the Crescent Head Citizen of the Year, Young Achiever and Sportsperson of the Year Awards will also be announced.

The South West Rocks Lions Club will offer a free sausage sizzle from 6:30am at the Horseshoe Bay shelter shed. A flag raising ceremony will start official proceedings at 7am and will be followed by performances from Sing Australia, Kempsey Silver Band and Les Jenkins Pipes and Drums, along with the presentation of the Lions Citizen of the Year Awards.

Mayor Campbell said residents and visitors to the area are welcome to attend the Awards and citizenship ceremony or any of the community celebrations taking place on 26 January.

“Everyone in our valley is welcome to join in the festivities as the community comes together to celebrate what is at the heart of being an Australian,” she said.