AUSTRALIA DAY: Great Australian Bites has become one of Warwick’s Australia Day staples. Picture: Wedding and Events Warwick
AUSTRALIA DAY: Great Australian Bites has become one of Warwick’s Australia Day staples. Picture: Wedding and Events Warwick

FRESH START: Warwick’s Australia Day plans overhauled

IT MAY be a national holiday founded in tradition, but Australia Day ceremonies across the Southern Downs are set for a massive overhaul in 2021.

January 26 traditionally sees a variety of breakfasts, sports events, and citizenship ceremonies across the region, but new SDRC changes will turn festivities into a days-long affair.

Under the new policy voted in unanimously by Southern Downs councillors yesterday, Australia Day celebrations will kick off with a Warwick street party on January 23.

“The street party will be an opportunity for a community celebration to attract visitors to the Southern Downs,” the SDRC policy stated.

The national holiday also sees a number of residents from across the Southern Downs recognised for their community efforts, and these too will undergo changes in 2021.

Citizen, Junior Citizen, Sportsperson, Junior Sportsperson, and Cultural/Community Person/Event of the Year will be awarded to a resident from both the northern and southern areas of the region.

Southern Downs Citizen of the Year will remain a region-wide award.

Southern Downs residents John Ces, Kathleen Ces, Kevin Ces, and Joleen Ces were sworn in at the 2018 Australian Citizenship ceremony in Warwick Town Hall. Photo: contributed
Southern Downs residents John Ces, Kathleen Ces, Kevin Ces, and Joleen Ces were sworn in at the 2018 Australian Citizenship ceremony in Warwick Town Hall. Photo: contributed

Recipients will be announced prior to Australia Day, though will receive their awards at the council-run citizenship ceremonies on the day.

Final plans for these citizenship ceremonies, usually held at Warwick Town Hall, are yet to be confirmed.

However, council policy noted “every effort would be made” to incorporate the swearing in with other community events.

SDRC is yet to name an Australia Day Ambassador to spearhead the festivities, though has indicated community favourites such as Great Australian Bites will return in 2021.

No Southern Downs councillors opposed the new plans.

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