Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie with Australia Day Ambassador Juliette Wright.
Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie with Australia Day Ambassador Juliette Wright.

Australia Day’s rich history on Southern Downs

WITH so many events, breakfasts and ceremonies planned across the Southern Downs this year, it’s hard to imagine the region wasn’t always this busy on Australia Day.

But according to Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie, Australia Day celebrations have grown significantly since she was a child growing up in Warwick.

“It wasn’t celebrated in the earlier to mid 20th century the way it is now,” she said.

“Now, I think it’s become very important to celebrate and acknowledge all Australians, and our rich history, particularly on the Southern Downs.

Looking forward to upcoming citizenship ceremonies Mayor Dobie said the cultural history is also what sets the downs apart on Australia Day.

“Warwick was one of the first places to be settled in Queensland, it was originally settled by British and Irish, Stanthorpe too,” she said.

“Many Italians also came after World War II and there’s so many cultures in our area that make it unique.”

Mayor Dobie said Australia Day is also a time to acknowledge and learn more about all aspects of Australian settlement history.

“When I went to Warwick High School, we had very little teachings on Indigenous Australians and now we have way more information about original owners of the country,” she said.

“As we grow and learn and we acknowledge all of our country, Australia Day may continue to evolve even more, and I think that’s a good thing.”

With the Great Australian Bites, various breakfasts and the citizenship ceremony, Mayor Dobie is expecting a jam-packed day.

“There are events all over the region we’ve been invited to in Killarney, Stanthorpe as well as Warwick,”

”Once upon a time groups in our region didn’t celebrate Australia Day the way they do now and I think it’s great to see people getting together.”



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