AUSTRALIA DAY 2021: A DAY TO REFLECT, RESPECT AND CELEBRATE

Published on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 10:12:53 AM

AUSTRALIA DAY 2021

Tricia Byfield - Citizen of the Year.   
Annette McArthur - Senior Citizen of the Year. 
John Crook, Chair, River Conservation Society - Active Community Citizenship of the Year 

What a great morning!

We hope you had a chance to join us this Australia Day on Forrest Oval and then at the York Pool for the Shire of York’s ‘Australia Day Celebrations’. This COVID-Safe Australia Day was supported with grant funding received from the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.


We were very fortunate this year to enjoy a cool morning under the shade of the marquees. Our thanks to York Racing, RSL, Bendigo Bank, St John Ambulance, York Swimming Club, York Cricket Club for the loan of the marquees and to the York Swimming Club for setting everything up and tidying away afterwards.


Thank you to the York Councillors, York Volunteer Worker's and the Men's Shed who manned the barbecue to provide us all with a hearty breakfast; to the York Co-Op for supplying the breakfast; to the Salvation Army for the coffee and tea station. It was an early start for some so no doubt breakfast and coffee were much appreciated!

The event started with light jazz from Jeff Harrold and friends, before the Hills Wheatbelt Band lead into the formalities. Official proceedings commenced at 9am with a great crowd of over 400 in attendance.

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Local Elder Audrey Narkle-Nettle conducted the Welcome to Country and the 2021 School Captains – Katie Allen and Kauri Whareaorere and Indigenous Representative, Warky Ugle from York District High School raised the flags. 

Shire President, Cr Denese Smythe then address the crowd. She recognised our Freeman of the Shire – Paul Monger, Gordon Marwick JP and Lorna Saunders and thanked the Hon Mia Davies MLA, Leader of the Nationals WA, Member for Central Wheatbelt and Hon Darren West MLC, Member for the Agricultural Region for their attendance and help with breakfast.

Cr Smythe touched on a number of topics during her speech including the recent Great Southern Highway bush fire and of course, the ever present COVID-19 pandemic which affected our lives so much doing 2020 and continues to do so. Cr Smythe thanked the First Responders, the local Fire & Emergency Service, the Volunteer Fire Brigades from York and surrounding areas, the Department of Fire and Emergency Service, St John Ambulance York and Police and all the many others that assisted with the fire disaster. She went on to thank the community for the spirit shown during the early days of the COVID crisis and read aloud the names of all individuals who had registered to offer their support through the YORKIND project.

Attendees were invited to stand and sing the National Anthem and Cr Denese Smythe lead the Affirmation Pledge.

Australia Day Ambassador Fadzi Whande, Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategist then shared parts of her story and shared the Australia Day message of Reflect ~ Respect ~ Celebrate because we are all part of the story.

Local musician Nick Childs set the atmosphere with a selection of classic Australian songs and ballads and the Mooditj Coolalingas Children’s Choir delighted everyone with some Noongar language songs.

The highlight of the morning was the presentation of the Australia Day Active Citizenship Awards.

Cr Denese Smythe, Shire President introduced the nominees and announced the winners with Bill Wallace Board Member of York District Co-Op presenting the badges and plaques and Ms Fadzi Whande presenting the certificates.

There was a good number of nominees this year which is indicative of the great number of people involved with and striving to better our community.

Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients:

ACTIVE COMMUNITY CITIZENSHIP OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR A COMMUNITY GROUP OR EVENT 

Nominees:

  • Skyee Winter & the Mooditj Coolalingas Noongar Children’s Choir
  • River Conservation Society
  • York Country Women’s Association

Recipient – River Conservation Society 

SENIOR COMMUNITY CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Nominees:

  • Sally Boyle
  • Patricia Walters
  • Annette McArthur 

Recipient – Annette McArthur

COMMUNITY CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Nominees:

  • Ross Heasman
  • Cherie Thorp
  • Tricia Byfield
  • Audrey Sole
  • Matthew Reid
  • Mark Lloyd
  • John & Christine Pert
  • Mark Appleton
  • Leanne Cooper
  • David & Kathy Emin

Recipient – Tricia Byfield 

The festivities on Forrest Oval concluded with the Perth Hills & Wheatbelt Band leading everyone to sing ‘I Am Australian’.   The pool was open and free to enter from 10am.  An enormous inflatable obstacle, lawn games and a free sausage sizzle mean the fun continued there well into the afternoon.

Our final thanks go to the York Honours Committee – Cr Denese Smythe, Graham Edmonds, Brenda Treloar, Gwen Gentle, Bev Penny, Margaret Wallace and Elaine Ashford for their commitment to the community.

Chris Linnell

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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