oz-dayMonday, January 26, is Australia Day and Far North Coast local government councils have organised a wide range of events.

Here’s some of the events planned in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Tweed and Richmond Valley local government areas:

Ballina Shire: It’s a double celebration in Ballina, with the council and the Ballina Bowling & Recreation Club combining to celebrate Australia Day and the bowling club’s centenary. Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury is the special guest.

Celebrations will be held at Hampton Park (Moon and Bentinck streets, near the bowling club) between 9am and 5pm.

Free billy tea and damper will be served from 9am to the popular tunes from the Ballina Shire Concert band followed by the official ceremony at 10am with the flag raising, Australia Day awards and citizenship ceremonies.

Entertainment will include the Ballina Pipe Band, TS Lismore Naval Cadets and the Ballina Youth Choir. This year’s Australia Day special guest is Steven Bradbury who is remembered for his The official ceremony wraps up around lunchtime and an afternoon of family fun follows with games, activities, live entertainment and music for the Ballina Bowling Club’s Centenary celebrations.

There will be face painting, a merry-go-round, Harley rides, chocolate wheels, tug-of-war games, gum boot throwing, Old MacDonald’s farm animals and Crocs and Dragons reptile park.

Live entertainment is from Fossil Rock and didgeridoo player Rory Close plus performances by rock ‘n’ roll dancers and boot scooters.

The day will also include a Sports and Fitness Expo, and community organisations such as the SES, Ballina Coastguard, Ballina Fire Brigade, Cherry Fishing Club, Ballina Bombers, Ballina Sharks Baseball and Seabird Rescue will be exhibiting displays.

At Wardell, there will be a Big Aussie Breakfast from 7am at the sports ground, followed by a golf day.

Byron Shire: Award winning author and journalist Robert Drewe will be the official speaker at this year’s Byron Shire Australia Day ceremony.

The author of The Shark Net, The Bodysurfers and Our Sunshine will welcome 18 new Australian residents as they make their oath to Australia and become citizens. The new citizens have come from all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Israel, USA, Canada and Brazil.

Also at the ceremony, Mayor Jan Barham will be awarding the Shire Volunteer of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

The official Byron Shire ceremony will commence at 11.30am at the Brunswick Valley Historical Museum, Stuart St, Mullumbimby.

Other Australia Day celebrations include the Brunswick Heads ‘Breakfast in the Park’ and a sing-along at Banner Park from 7.30am; in Byron Bay a breakfast at the Surf Club from 8am, and in Bangalow a breakfast at the Moller Pavilion from 8am.

The Sisters for Reconciliation will also be holding a barbecue with music, entertainment and children’s activities at Byron Beach Park from 11am until 3pm.

Events will continue into the afternoon. At 2pm Suffolk Park will hold its usual fun afternoon at Gaggin Park where sausage sandwiches and cake can be enjoyed with fun and games for the kids.

To finish the evening off, Ocean Shores will be holding the annual mullet throwing competition at New Brighton Oval from 5.30pm. 

Other activities include: a visit from the Ocean Shores Ambassador, Steve Foreman – coach of the world champion surfer Layne Beachley; free sausage sizzle; the Ocean Shores Peace Choir; a giant lamington; and a visit from the fire brigade.

Clarence Valley: Everyone is welcome to attend the Australia Day Awards Ceremony, a celebration to honour all nominees. The awards ceremony will be held at the Grafton Community Centre in Duke St from 12pm-2.30pm.

The Clarence Valley Council’s Australia Day Ambassador is Ray Price.

Awards will be presented for:

Citizen of the Year
Young Citizen of the Year
Sports Achievement
Youth Sports Achievement 
Community Organisation 
Creative, Visual and Performing Arts
Youth Creative, Visual and Performing Arts
Good Neighbour

Nominees are listed on the council’s website.

Kyogle Shire: The Kyogle and Woodenbong Australia Day Committee has adopted the theme ‘True Colours’ for this year’s celebrations.

The celebrations will commence at the Kyogle Memorial Pool at 8am with Billy Tea and Damper supplied by Kyogle Lions Club.

The official ceremony starts at 9am – all activities, entry and food will be free.

A luncheon will also be provided at the Kyogle Seniors Centre from around noon.

Australia Day West of the Range will be held at the Bonalbo Showgrounds, starting at 10am and will have the Lions Club All Day Bar-B-Q, Tea and Coffee with home-made cakes.

There will be a Toss-n the Bull competition, Gumboot Throwing, Tug of War, all with prizemoney to the winners.

The Grand Parade at noon and the awards ceremony will begin at around 1.15pm.

Lismore City Council: The Citizenship Ceremony will begin at 8.30am at Trinity Sports Hall, corner of Dawson & Leycester streets, Lismore, beginning with a Welcome to Country by local Aboriginal elders.

Other activities include Flag Raising, Address by Australia Day Ambassador Craig Goozee OAM, and presentation of Australia Day Awards, and musical entertainment.

The celebrations will be followed by Morning Tea when you will have an opportunity to meet Craig Goozee, who in 1998 completed  a 1000km surf ski paddle from Avalon (Sydney) to Broadbeach (Qld).

The epic journey in open ocean took a total of 17 days, paddling approximately 50-70 kilometres per day. During the journey Craig encountered two cyclones and was stalked by sharks in excess of seven metres in size.

As a result he raised $152,000 for charity. A large sum of this money was raised through the invitation as guest speaker to various functions about his charity work and children’s cancer.

Richmond Valley Council: Australia Day celebrations for the Richmond Valley will be held at New Italy.

The celebrations will be essentially community-based and the program will run from 10am to 3pm.

The official ceremony will take place at 10.30am in the village square and will consist of the Welcome to Country, raising of the flag and anthem, Mayor and Ambassador’s Australia Day addresses and community awards presentation.

The Australia Day Ambassador is John Wall, renowned Masters Games athlete and motivator.

Award winners will again receive a framed certificate designed by local artist Vanessa Crisp, and for the first time the Citizen of the Year will receive the Australia Post commemorative stamp.

New Italy Museum Inc will be managing the catering to the public on the day and the Ambassador dinner and morning tea for award nominees.

Tweed Shire Council: The official Tweed Shire Australia Day celebration will be at the Uki Sports Clubhouse from 11am, where the winners of the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards for 2008 will be announced, including Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year.

The awards will be presented by the Tweed Shire Australia Day Ambassador, Donnie Sutherland OAM.

The former apprentice jockey has had a long career in the media, as a radio DJ, television host on music program ‘Sounds’ and horse racing television presenter and producer.

Tweed Shire Australia Day Committee Chairman Don Beck will present the awards alongside Mr Sutherland.

Tweed Shire Mayor Cr Joan van Lieshout will conduct a citizenship ceremony at the official Uki celebrations, welcoming 31 Tweed residents as Australian citizens.

The residents came to the Tweed from many nations across the globe, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Philippines, Russia and the Netherlands.

At Burringbar, the festivities will start at the sports ground at 10.30am with a cricket match, followed by flag-raising at noon, damper and Anzac biscuit baking competitions and novelty sports competitions and displays throughout the afternoon.

Pop down to Kingscliff at Lions Park between 7am and 9am for a ‘Breakfast in the Park’ at a nominal cost, with a flag-raising at 8am, followed by musical entertainment, tug-o-war and Australia Day quiz.

Lawn bowls will be the focus of the fun at the Pottsville event at the Pottsville Bowls Club, with the “shirts and skirts” competition at 9.15am following a flag-raising ceremony.

Tumbulgum will host a free barbecue breakfast from 8am, followed by the Tumbulgum Australia Day 2008 Awards presentation by Australia Day ambassador Donnie Sutherland at 9.15am and a variety of entertainment.

Sport will be the focus at Tyalgum, with the Tyalgum Cup cycle race and the junior and seniors traditional Australia versus India cricket match at Bruce Bartrim Oval.

Murwillumbah will host a barbecue breakfast in Knox Park from 8.30am, with the Murwillumbah Australia Day Awards presentation by Australia Day Ambassador Donnie Sutherland OAM at 9.45am.