Australia Day Awards set to shine at Eagle Point – East Gippsland

East Gippsland Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, January 20 at the Eagle Point Foreshore Hub from 10.30 am.

The shire-wide awards recognise the contributions East Gippsland residents make to the wider community.

This year, 16 nominations received and all contending for the honour of winning the 2024 Australia Day Award for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, and Community Event of the Year.

The ceremony will include musical entertainment by East Gippsland Brass, a flag raising ceremony by the Bairnsdale and Paynesville Scout Group, a barbecue provided by Paynesville Lions Club, coffee van by Coffee Trix, a Welcome to Country by Aunty Glenys Watts and keynote address from Australia Day Ambassador Adam Bloem.

Mr Bloem is founder and director of the East Gippsland Winter Festival (EGWF). He is a passionate advocate for East Gippsland’s unique identity. With a background in premier food and wine events, real estate, and community service, Mr Bloem is dedicated to showcasing the region’s strengths and fostering its growth.

Mr Bloem’s leadership has been instrumental in transforming the EGWF into a month-long extravaganza featuring over 100 events that celebrate the region’s diverse art, food, people, and culture. His vision, passion, and innate marketing expertise have made EGWF a highlight of East Gippsland’s events calendar. The festival attracts thousands of overnight visitors during the traditionally quiet off-peak period.

“I am so proud to be this year’s Australia Day Ambassador and to be part of a community that always rallies together in times of need and celebrates its unique identity. These awards showcase the efforts of so many people in our community who dedicate their time to making East Gippsland a great place to live,” Mr Bloem said.

“People can give back to their community or support others in so many different ways, as evidenced by the nominees for these awards each year. I am looking forward to the ceremony and the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of this year’s nominees,” Mr Bloem said.

Mayor Cr Tom Crook thanked Mr Bloem for taking on the ambassador role.

“We are thrilled to welcome Adam Bloem as our 2024 Australia Day Ambassador. His commitment and determination to build an event from the ground up and bring others along on the journey is inspirational,” Cr Crook said.

This year’s awards will take place at the newly completed and eagerly awaited Eagle Point Foreshore Hub.

“We are very excited to host the event at Eagle Point Foreshore Hub, where, alongside the broader East Gippsland community, we can come together to reflect, respect, and celebrate our wonderful community,” Cr Crook said.

The East Gippsland Australia Day Awards are supported by the National Australia Day Council and the Australia Day Victoria ambassador program. Tickets for this free event are booking fast, see Council’s website for details

Adam Bloem, founder of the East Gippsland Winter Festival, is this year’s East Gippsland Australia Day Ambassador.

Community events

A number of communities will hold Australia Day events on Friday January 26. A list of these events is available on Council’s website.

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