Council clarifies Australia Day position

Media release - 9 November 2018

Despite recent incorrect media reports, Kempsey Shire Council has confirmed that it has made no major change to the Australia Day events proposed for January 2019.

The Shire’s formal Australia Day Awards ceremony has been held on Australia Day eve (January 25) over the past four years. This timing bought the Kempsey celebrations in line with the format delivered by the Australia Day Council in Canberra, announcing the national award winners on the eve of Australia Day.

“With attendance at the Awards event increasing annually, we are confident that this format encourages community participation ahead of the holiday.

“It also allows the Australia Day Ambassador, Award winners, Councillors and community members to attend the important local community celebrations that are held at Crescent Head and South West Rocks on Australia Day,” said General Manager Craig Milburn.

Over the last two years Council have also sought to include and invite the Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year in community activities throughout the year.

Traditionally, Council has always held a citizenship ceremony as part of the formal Awards event on Australia Day eve. Following a recent resolution of Council, for 2019 Kempsey Shire Council has offered upcoming Citizenship candidates the option of holding their ceremony as part of the Awards event or holding a separate citizenship ceremony on 26 January. To date all candidates have chosen to be part of the formal Awards ceremony on 25 January.

“Kempsey Council has made no move to change Australia Day celebrations from January 26. If anything, we have increased the celebrations by adding the option of a second citizenship ceremony on Australia Day,” Said Mr Milburn.

In collaboration with the Australian Department of Home Affairs, Kempsey Shire Council holds regular Citizenship Ceremonies throughout the year, not just coinciding with Australia Day.

Nominations for 2019 Australia Day Awards close on Friday 30 November with the nomination form available from Council’s website or the customer service centre.