AUSTRALIA Day means different things for different people. For school friends Zoe Christis and Bella Sheen, memories of the national day differ.Zoe remembers her family spending Australia Day long weekends at the dam skiing, having barbecues and enjoying the sun. Bella has memories of Victoria Park celebrations when she was young and now spends her time at the beach with family or in town with friends listening to the Hottest 100.It’s one of their favourite days of the year, because, like tradition dictates, it’s a time to chill out and not do too much at all.AUSTRALIA Day Ambassador for Goulburn Mulwaree Warren Brown will freely point out that 2014 was a somewhat grim year.
Nevertheless, it’s the bad times that bring people together, the editorial cartoonist and media personality told the Post.
He will explore the idea during his Ambassador’s speech in Victoria Park this morning.
“2014 was a fairly grim year and certainly with the terrible things that happened throughout the year, culminating in the siege in Sydney so close to home,” Mr Brown said on Friday.
“The thing about it that gets me is that even though there are people who want to derail our fantastic way of life it didn’t happen.
“What came out of that was a fantastic galvanisation of Australia, in the tributes of flowers and messages.
“People had no connection with those hostages whatsoever but it shows as a community what happens… There’s something hardwired into Australians.”
Taking up ambassadorship in Goulburn is a close-to-home experience for Mr Brown, who lives in the Middle Arm area with his wife Tanya and eight-year-old son Oliver. The family also has a property in Taralga, of which they previously used as their weekend house to escape the Sydney hustle and bustle.
He admits he has fallen in love with life in the area.
“We bought a little house in Taralga over five years ago and just fell in love with it. We loved it so much we decided to do it up, it was the town’s original bakery and it became something really lovely to get away from the City too. We decided to make the move (to Middle Arm) and we have never regretted it.
“I just think living in the region here is fantastic. Goulburn is great and I’m very much looking forward to being with Geoff Kettle on the day and everybody else. It’s a very welcoming community for us and a great place for a little boy to grow up. Living in the region was a bit of a worry, but it’s far exceeded our expectations.”
Australia Day Ambassador Warren Brown
Mr Brown has been the full-time editorial cartoonist for a number of metropolitan newspapers since 1986, and became the three times Australian Cartoonists’ Association Cartoonist of the Year.
Since 2006, he has been the overnight host at Gallipoli on Anzac Day and the pre-service host for the service at the Australian War Cemetery at Lone Pine.
This year he will continue his role for the centenary commemorations, firstly for Anzac Day and again in August.
He will touch on the significance of Gallipoli this morning also.
“A century on since the landings at Gallipoli, I want to talk about what we have learned,” Mr Brown said.
“In 1915 the Gallipoli camp was the first time the Australians fought as a cohesive nation under the same flag and not as separate colonies in NSW, Queensland and so on.
“It was the first time they came together as Australians and there’s something really pertinent about it and a nice connection.
“A hundred years later, we are now a very, very capable cohesive nation.”
He said while Anzac Day is a day to commemorate, Australia Day is all about the celebration.
“Australia Day is a day of celebration; even more so today when we’re no longer just a simple Anglo-Saxon colony floating around in the Pacific. We are a multicultural society and by and large people embrace it.”
The Australia Day official ceremony will kick off at 11am today in Victoria Park.
Program informationVICTORIA Park will be the hub of Goulburn’sAustralia Day celebrations today.
A free barbecue will be held from 7:30am til9, provided by Holcim and Bryants Bakery.
Official proceedings will begin on-stage at11am, including a citizenship ceremony where15 people will be sworn in as certifiedAustralians.
There will be stalls, children’s activities andheaps of musical entertainment.
A naval helicopter from HMAS Albatross willbe on display, and, over on Prell oval, a scenichelicopter will be running joy flights throughoutthe day at $50 per person.
Council has also arranged for free entry tothe Aquatic Centre for the duration of the day.
Ambassador Warren Brown will address thecrowd shortly after 11am.
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