Mayor's Wellington Column 23 January 2019


Australia Day in Wellington is one of the most exciting times of the year with the community coming out to enjoy the festivities at Cameron Park on Saturday.

Last year was my first time being part of the Wellington celebrations and I was very impressed with the passion and enthusiasm on display.

One of the highlights of the day has to be the opportunity to present the Australia Day Awards. Wellington is fortunate to have some incredible community members who do so much, so being able to recognise them for their hard work is exciting.

On Saturday seven awards will be presented, including Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen, Senior Citizen, Community Service or Achievement award, Sportsperson of the Year, Junior Sportsperson and Community Event of the Year.

As always, the standard of nominees for these awards was extremely high and choosing the winners generated some good discussions between the awards committee. It might sound like a cliché but it would have been easy to pick more than one winner in each category but those who were chosen are very deserving.

One of the best parts about presenting the awards, especially the three citizens awards and the community service and achievement awards, is that the people who receive them are people who achieve great things but often don't seek the credit for it.

They are happy to work behind the scenes to achieve a goal and the satisfaction of doing something to help their community is their driving force.

Another great moment every year is the chance to hear from our Australia Day ambassador. This year, Olympic gold medallist and one of Australia’s greatest ever water polo players Debbie Watson will be in Wellington to talk.

Wellington has been fortunate to have some incredible ambassadors in the past and Debbie will be no different.

Ms Watson is perhaps best known for leading the Australian women’s water polo team to Olympic glory at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

However she had an incredible career in the sport during the 1980s and 90s, helping Australia to multiple world titles and captaining her country before retiring in 1995.

She was part of the successful push to get water polo chosen as an Olympic sport and came out of retirement for the inaugural year.

Since her retirement she has continued promote her sport and remains involved as a coach in Sydney. I look forward to hearing what Debbie has to say.

I encourage you to come down to Cameron Park on Saturday morning and get involved in the celebrations. The opportunity is there to get out and recognise the achievements of members of the community and also reflect on what it means to be an Australian.

We all know that Australia really is the lucky country and the Dubbo Region is a top part of it. See you on Saturday.

Last Edited: 25 Jan 2019

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