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Australia Day

Australia Day 2024 is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit. We use the day to highlight the best of this country including:

  • Australia’s First Peoples, Aboriginal culture and heritage
  • our mateship
  • our sense of community
  • our resilience
  • lifestyle, culture, and people from all walks of life
  • our cultural diversity and rich migrant heritage
  • our optimism and hope as we look to the future.

Australia Day 20234 will be celebrated with events in Lithgow, Wallerawang and Portland.


Official Ceremony Queen Elizabeth Park 
9.00am – 10.30am

Mayor Maree Statham will conduct the  Citizenship Ceremony and present the NSW Local Citizenship Awards.
The Official Australia Day speech will be presented by the Australia Day Ambassador Bruno Efoti.
Refreshments provided by the Lions Club of Lithgow and entertainment by Lithgow City Band and local band Dave James / One man band will perform from 10.30am to 11.15am
In case of inclement weather the ceremony will be relocated to the Union Theatre. 
Please check the council website for current guidelines and cancellations.


Wolgan Street, Portland

12 noon 
Official Ceremony and Australia Day Address by Mayor Maree Statham and Ambassador Bruno Efoti.
Entertainment including displays, market stalls, children’s entertainment, BBQ and CWA refreshment room.
Wolgan Street will be closed to vehicles from 9.00am – 4.00pm.
Portland Community pool will be open.


Wallerawang Community & Sports Club
Family Entertainment from 10.30am

11.00 am Official Ceremony including local awards and Australia Day Address by Mayor Maree Statham and Ambassador Bruno Efoti


Australia Day 2024 Program

Australia Day Ambassador

Bruno Efoti was born in the Kingdom of Tonga on the island of Foa on the Ha’apai group. He was the third child of eight and his father was a subsistence farmer.

After school Bruno migrated to Australia to study Theology with Cornerstone Community in 1994 and met and married JoAnna Waugh in 1997. They chose to stay in Australia and Bruno pursued a career in Carpentry.

Bruno and Jo settled in Dubbo and established a small carpentry business. They adopted their son Reuben from Tonga and went on to become foster parents to 27 other children.

Bruno became an Australian citizen in 2016.

Bruno was a committed rugby player and was an active member of the Dubbo Rhinos Rugby Club.

During his time as a builder Bruno began to notice the struggles that a lot of Australian men face in managing all things emotional and he developed a keen listening ear which eventuated in long sessions listening to men on the work site and less building getting done.

During the drought season of the late 2010’s more and more businessmen and tradies were struggling and the suicide rate amongst tradesmen skyrocketed to alarming levels. As pressure increased, the amount of men coming to Bruno to share their burdens increased and Bruno’s time was spent more and more on listening and less on building. Coupled with the massive financial strain of the drought this meant the Bruno needed to rethink his career and considered that he could do something tangible to be helpful to tradesmen. The catalyst for change was an encounter with the Workcover inspector on a jobsite and Bruno realised that there was no support being offered to tradesmen to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Bruno and Jo decided to train as counsellors and at the end of their study Tradies IN Sight was born. A not-for-profit organisation designed to support tradesmen with mental health and wellbeing issues.

Tradies IN Sight Inc uses food and fire to create an atmosphere of safety and connection for tradesmen and their families to learn new skills about emotional wellbeing. Bruno is quoted as saying “We don’t do feelings well in Australia and its time that changed”. Coming from another culture gave Bruno fresh eyes to see the way men were thinking and how to help them learn new skills and insights to do the whole “Mental health” thing differently.

Tradies IN Sight established a drop-in centre Shed in August 2021 in Dubbo on a crown land property that operates during business hours with weekly events outside those hours to support tradesmen and others.

Bruno also delivers an emotional wellbeing program to young apprentices that attend TAFE to educate them with skills to better manage their own mental health and be equipped to support others to do the same.

Tradies IN Sight Inc has been generously supported by the local community through donations and gifts including a Hilux Ute sponsored by Dubbo City Toyota. There have also been small pockets of funding through The Foundation of Rural and Regional Renewal and NSW Health.

The INSight Shed has seen over 2000 drop ins with 30% of these people not being tradesmen in 12 months. The Shed is a great first stop for someone needing to unpack their struggle and find out what the next step will be. Bruno, his committee, and team of volunteers are passionate about supporting the Dubbo community and the Central Western NSW region and ensuring that people’s needs are met wherever they may be. Tradies IN Sight Inc has very string partnerships with all the Mental Agencies in our region and we work together wherever possible to get the best outcomes for our guests.