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13 January 2021
Horsham municipal leaders are encouraging the community to celebrate Australia Day ‘virtually’ this month instead of attending a traditional ceremony at Sawyer Park.
Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Sunil Bhalla said Australia Day committee members had ‘reimagined’ the event due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the committee decided before Christmas to host the Horsham event virtually.
“As things currently stand with two weeks to go, we could have conceivably had an outdoor event with COVID-safe restrictions in place. But that is with the benefit of hindsight,” he said.
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“The virtual Australia Day event will be streamed live to our community and include many elements of our traditional event such as Australia Day Awards and citizenship ceremony.
“It is also an opportunity to do things a little differently this year in Horsham, noting there are also Australia Day events planned for Dadswells Bridge, Brimpaen and Natimuk.”
Ceremonies at Dadswells Bridge, Brimpaen and Natimuk will go ahead as ‘COVID-safe outdoor gatherings’.
The council will livestream a formal Australia Day ceremony, including the presentation of citizen, youth citizen and community event of the year awards, via the HRCC website and Facebook page from 9am.
Mayor Robyn Gulline said Australia Day 2021 would provide an important opportunity for the community to reflect on the challenges of the past year, respect the sacrifices and contributions of those who responded in a time of need and celebrate being together and what it meant to be an Australian.
“2020 was a challenging year for us all, but it also highlighted the power of our community’s spirit,” she said.
“We want to recognise those who really went above and beyond last year, and will be live-
streaming the ceremony to involve as many people as possible.
“This Australia Day, our message is to reflect, respect and celebrate. We will reflect on our community’s past, respect all cultures and the stories of those who call Australia home, and celebrate our community’s unsung heroes and new citizens.”
Rural events – Brimpaen Hall, egg and bacon rolls served from 8am. Register attendance with Sue on 0419 539 696; Natimuk, ceremony from 11am at NC2, followed by lunch; Dadswells Bridge Hall, ceremony from 11.30am, followed by lunch.
• For a full wrap of Australia Day events across the Wimmera, see next week’s The Weekly Advertiser.
The entire January 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!