North and Far North Queensland to host Australia Day events and ambassadors

Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

North and Far North Queensland residents will be treated to homegrown music acts and family-friendly activities as part of a stellar line-up of Australia Day events this week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Australia Day was a time for Queenslanders to come together to reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia’s national day.

“Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate our great lifestyle and to acknowledge our history,” the Premier said.

“Communities large and small are the foundation of our multicultural country, and I encourage all Queenslanders, far and wide, to come together to celebrate on our national day.

“We are all so lucky to live in Queensland, and my Government is proud to continue its work to promote our State’s wonderful diversity.”

This year, the Australia Day Ambassador Program is connecting Queensland communities with 48 proud, high-achieving Queenslanders who’ll participate in council-run events and activities across the state.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper encouraged communities throughout the region to get involved.

“One of the most important parts of the days in Townsville is the Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony,” Mr Harper said.

“The Flag Raising Ceremony fosters great community pride, respectfully acknowledging the First Nations people, and paying tribute to the contributions of the Australian Defence Force and our frontline workers.”

“This is special day for all of Townsville and all of Australia.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart thanked the 2023 Australia Day Ambassadors for generously dedicating their time.

“We are so lucky to have some incredible talent visiting the North Queensland this Australia Day, participating in activities like Australia Day awards, meeting with locals or providing an inspirational address,” Mr Stewart said.

“There are a number of celebrations taking place throughout the region, including a fun run, a free breakfast at the Jezzine Barracks and the Aussie Beach Day Out at the Strand,” Mr Harper said.

“There’s something for everyone, no matter how you celebrate.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said recognising our diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was an important part of the day.

“We are all Australian,” Ms Lui said.

“Our country is incredibly diverse, and acknowledging both our rich history and traditional owners is essential.”

Australia Day Ambassadors attending events in North and Far North Queensland this month include:

  • Alison Alexander OAM – regional food ambassador.
  • Dr Tahnee Bridson – Queensland Young Australian of the Year 2022.
  • Gail Ker OAM – community services pioneer.
  • Professor Peter Leggat AM – tropical diseases expert.
  • Christopher Tamwoy – First Nations artist and reconciliation advocate.

Alison Alexander OAM said it was a wonderful privilege to be asked to be an Australia Day Ambassador and I look forward to it each year.

“It allows me to go places and meet people who are off my normal beaten track and I particularly enjoy the small more remote locations which give me an insight into another part of Queensland,” Ms Alexander said.

“I always come back home with stories to tell and an experience to remember.”

The Australia Day Ambassador Program and Australia Day program of events are proudly supported by the Palaszczuk Government in partnership with the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.

This year the Townsville event will also be livestreamed, so you can enjoy the traditional ceremony from the comfort of your home.

North and Far North Queensland councils participating in the Australia Day program of events include:

Cook Shire Council, Etheridge Shire Council, Torres Shire Council and Townsville City Council and a new partnership with Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

The annual Australia Day Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremonies in Townsville will involve the raising of the Australian, Queensland, Governor of Queensland, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islands and Townsville flags at the Jezzine Barracks. It will also feature the Australian Defence Force Royal Guard of Honour, band of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, and a 21-gun salute.

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