WELCOME: Mayor Peter Blundell welcomes Warwick’s newest citizens, including Mark Masculino at the Australia Day celebrations in Leslie Park yesterday.
WELCOME: Mayor Peter Blundell welcomes Warwick’s newest citizens, including Mark Masculino at the Australia Day celebrations in Leslie Park yesterday. Samantha Oneil

Residents celebrate Australia Day in Warwick

WARWICK residents came together to celebrate all things Australian at Leslie Park yesterday.

Activities included live entertainment, an animal farm, jumping castle, face painting and bungee run.

Master of ceremonies Cr Neil Meiklejohn said it was terrific to see everyone coming together.

"It is great everyone has the opportunity to recognise the people who have done something special for the community," he said.

"It's a nice way to recognise the contributions of all the nominees.

"It is great to see people come along and celebrate being in Australia, which is truly the lucky country."

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Peter Blundell said the day was a terrific celebration for the community.

"It is fabulous to have a national day to recognise the opportunities and privileges we have living in this country," he said.

"I noticed the focus in David Morrison's speech that there are still barriers.

"We need to work on those and improve it, yet be mindful of the opportunities the majority of the population do have.

"When you travel overseas, you appreciate the fortunate nature of being Australian and living in this community."

Mayor Blundell welcomed 20 new citizens to Warwick.

"It is fantastic to see such a good number of people taking citizenship on Australia Day," he said.

Australia Day ambassador Alison Fairleigh spoke of the importance of relationships in the area of rural mental health.

"Many people think the drought causes suicide, but it doesn't," she said.

"The figures do not increase with the drought, they stay the same.

"Relationship breakdowns are the main cause of suicide."

Mayor Blundell encouraged the residents to reach out to others.

"It's a sad fact that there is probably no one in the audience who hasn't experienced, through either family members or close friendships, exactly what Alison talked about," he said.

"The important thing is being able to actually have the conversation."



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