Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Australia Day in the Hastings Region

This post is a little late, however I wanted to share with you my special Australia Day experience at Port Macquarie and the Hastings Region.

The Australia Day Ambassador program has been running for 21 years and, briefly, allows for Australians from diverse backgrounds to be involved in local community celebrations and share their experiences and national pride around the country. This year there were over 320 Ambassadors nationally and 165 in NSW from various backgrounds such as sport, medical research, music, the arts and, of course, food and wine!
Some of this year’s Ambassadors

I am very proud to have been involved with this program as an Ambassador for the past eight years and this year was lucky to be welcomed by the kind and generous people of Port Macquarie and the Hastings Region. My two day visit was packed with activities, including: delivering my own Australia Day address, participating in emotionally moving citizenship ceremonies, helping make community awards and getting to know the area. Made that much more special as I have a very special god-daughter who lives there.

I had a fantastic time and fell in love all over again with the great produce from the Hastings, especially Ricardo’s tomatoes and strawberries. But as I said in my address regionalism is not only about the produce in an area, but about the people who live there, and what they do in their communities.

Here are some pics of the day:

I am an absolute sucker for live music and always insist on singing both verses of the national anthem – this is the pipe band at Pilot Beach, Dunbogan. They also played in Wauchope.

The kids raising the flags at Wauchope

The re-enactment of Governor Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie’s arrival at Port Macquarie

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