Australia Day Ambassador to speak at York Australia Day event

Published: Thursday, 16 January 2020 at 11:57:40 AM

Australia Day Ambassador to speak at York Australia Day event


Australia Day Ambassador, Priya Cooper OAM will visit the Shire of York as part of the Australia Day event on Sunday, 26 January, 2020.

Cr Denese Smythe, Shire President, said she was delighted Priya Cooper will be speaking as part of the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.

"We are fortunate to have secured an Australia Day Ambassador to come to York.  It will add another layer of excitement to our already fantastic Australia Day programme, so I encourage everyone to come and get involved", Cr Smythe said. 

Priya Cooper defeated cerebral palsy to become one of Australia's leading Paralympians.  She began swimming as a means of therapy at an early age, only later realising her potential as a competitor.  By 1995, at the age of 21, she held the world record for the 50m and 100m freestyle events and in 1996 the world record for the 400m and 800m freestyle and 100m backstroke. 

At the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona Priya won three gold and two silver medals (the most of any Australian athlete), set two world records and was the flag bearer for the Australian team at the closing ceremony.  On her return to Australia she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to sport.

She followed this with even greater success at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, where she was co-captain of the Australian team, won five gold medals (plus a silver and a bronze), set another three world records and was again the flag bearer for her country.

In 1998 Priya competed in the British National Swimming Championships, winning four gold medals, a bronze medal, and setting a world record. 

At the Sydney 2000 Paralympics she won a gold medal in the 400m Freestyle and three bronze medals, despite having recently recovered from major shoulder surgery.

In October 2015 Priya was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

The Australia Day Ambassador programme sends high achieving Australians to over 300 community celebrations nationwide every Australia Day. Ambassadors are sportspeople, scientists, business people, actors and community workers who provide added inspiration and pride to Australia Day events and activities. The Australia Day Ambassador programme is co-ordinated by Australia Day Councils and Committees in each state and territory.

The Shire of York's Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony will be held at the York Recreation and Convention Centre. The event commences with a BBQ Community Breakfast from 7.30am followed by the Ceremony and Award Presentations commencing at 9.00am. The Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band will be providing entertainment during the morning.

Following the morning event, the Swimming Pool will be open from 10am until 6.00pm with FREE entry and a BBQ for all.

For further information, please contact:

Shire of York

Darren Wallace, A/CEO

Tel: (08) 9641 2233






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