Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham welcomed the community to the Australia Day Ceremony held at Queen Elizabeth Park on 26 January 2023.
Australia Day celebrations once again provided a significant opportunity to reflect on the issues, achievements and challenges facing our community and Australia in general, to pay respect to first nations people, acknowledge local people and organisations who have contributed to the community and to witness the conferring of Australian Citizenship on two new citizens.
The event was filled with entertainment provided by Lithgow City Band, local singers Jenny Hoye and Mary Grace as well as a set by local youth band Hollowpoint. Lithgow Lions Club provided refreshments to the crowd. Free entry was provided on Australia Day to the JM Robson Aquatic Centre.
“Australia Day 2023 is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit and the best of this vast country; our mateship, our sense of community, our resilience; and looking to the future with optimism and hope,” said Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham. “Australia Day is also a day when we can acknowledge the contributions of local people and organisations to the Lithgow community by presenting the local citizenship awards. Two new citizens will also be taking the Citizenship Pledge at the ceremony.”
The Ambassador’s Address was given by road safety advocate Peter Frazer OAM. Peter Frazer is the founder of SARAH (Safer Australian Roads and Highways), and who has dedicated his life to improving road safety.
Aunty Helen Riley, a local elder representing the Wiradjuri nation through the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation, delivered the Welcome to Country address.
The Mayor presented the Local Citizenship Awards which recognise those individuals and groups who make a significant difference to our community. “We all know what an active and engaged community we have in Greater Lithgow,” said Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham. “There are many people in our community, often quiet achievers, doing fantastic work to help others and to make this community more inclusive and a great place to live.”
The Citizen of the Year Awards acknowledge people who through their efforts and commitment have made our community a better place.
The Young Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Christian Broome for his work with young people including the youth drop-in space and Lithgow Youth Council.
The Open Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Kay Adams for her voluntary work including with Lithgow Quota, Wallerawang CWA and Can Assist.
The Volunteer of the Year Awards are for people who have given their time freely to help the community within the Lithgow LGA.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Lauren Trounce, for her voluntary work with Hoskins Uniting Church and Lithgow Musical Society.
The Open Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Bill Evans for his many years of work with Lithgow Lions Club and Lithgow Bellringers at Hoskins Memorial Church.
The Service to the Community Award is for organisations which aim to enrich the lives of the people in the Lithgow area and was awarded to Lithgow Bellringers who have been ringing the bells at Hoskins Memorial Church since 1999.
The Heritage Conservation Award is for an individual or an organisation that has made significant contribution to the preservation of the heritage of the Lithgow LGA. This award was given to Donna White for her work with Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum over many years.
The Outstanding Event of the Year Award recognises the significant contribution that special events make to our region and was awarded to the Ear to the Ground Community Festival held at Zig Zag railway in November 2022 as a community response to the Black Summer bushfires.
On the day two local people took the Australian Citizenship Oath at the event. “I always look forward to that part of the Australia Day ceremony where I confer Australian Citizenship on new citizens,” said the Mayor. “This is such a special occasion for our two new citizens Clarissa Ceno and Katie Churchill and for the community of Lithgow that you call home.”
The Mayor and Ambassador also attended the Australia Day ceremonies in Wallerawang and Portland.