Coffs welcomes 44 new citizens
A RELAXED Coffs Harbour audience greeted 23 nominees for local community awards and almost four dozen new residents at the city’s Australia Day ceremony yesterday.
Punctuated with flag waving and traditional Australian songs like Waltzing Matilda; Home Among the Gum Trees and We Are Australian, the event recognised people nominated for voluntary activities including celebrating Aboriginal culture; supporting teenage girls; picking up litter; sporting achievements; helping frail aged people; school reading programs; community theatre; fundraising and protection of the environment.
A total of 44 people of all ages from 16 countries became Australian citizens.
They demonstrated a dazzling variety of approaches to the dress code from splendid traditional African dress and elegant formal business wear to shorts and t-shirts.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Keith Rhoades said Coffs Harbour would celebrate its sesquicentenary this year, marking 150 years since the settlement was gazetted as a town in 1861.
The co-ordinator of the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum, Terrie Beckhouse, listed some of the landmark events during Coffs Harbour’s earliest years.
Coffs Harbour Australia Day Ambassador Michael Crossland, who survived a deadly childhood cancer and went on to achieve international sporting success, spoke about freedom of choice and the importance of using every day to the full.
The member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, spoke of the importance of Australia’s strong and stable democracy and also talked about the volunteer response to the current Victorian flooding, where so many volunteers from near and far arrived to help.