Friday, March 24, 2023

Our Australia Day

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Large happy crowds turned out for Australia Day at both Naracoorte and Lucindale last week to celebrate local award winners, welcome new Australians citizens and participate in an Australian citizenship affirmation.

Proceedings fired up at 7am in Naracoorte with the traditional smell of eggs and bacon wafting through the air.

Dedicated volunteers from several clubs cooked breakfast, supplied tea and coffee and helped the committed Naracoorte Lucindale Council staff who organised the event.

Joint MCs, Naracoorte High School captains Cameron “Cam” Coutts and Zachary “Zach” Pope, welcomed the crowd and called on Naracoorte Scouts and Guides to assemble for the raising of the Australian flag.

While the flag was raised, the crowd sang the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

Mayor Patrick Ross read a statement from the Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, then introduced guest speaker, Robertson Street Daily Market proprietor, Didar Ali.

“Since settling in Naracoorte after fleeing his home country of Afghanistan to escape the Taliban, Didar has established himself and his family in the community and operates a successful small business in Robertson Street, the Daily Market,” Mr Ross said.

“A valuable and active contributor to the Naracoorte community, Didar and his family generously and enthusiastically work as a team to serve Naracoorte’s growing migrant population.

“Even more remarkably, Didar does all of this with a very limited sight, identifying most of the hundreds of items in his shop by feel or smell.”

Mr Ali recalled playing a lot of sport while growing up in Afghanistan – soccer, running, volleyball and cricket – and worked at both farming and in business.

“I came to Australia because I ran away from war,” said Mr Ali who explained the war that started when he was born and was still going.

“I will never forget the people in Afghanistan – more than 10 million people have died or left (the) country.

“My family and myself are grateful that we live in Australia.”

Mr Ali said Australia had good laws which everyone followed.

“… In Australia more than 20,000 people live by bridging visa, or temporary visa,” he said.

“I wish the Government can help them get a visa.”

He hoped they could then apply to bring their family to Australia “and then we can celebrate Australia Day” together.

Mr Ross announced the Australia Day award winners, starting with Naracoorte Australia Day Citizen of the Year award winner Geraldine Mathieson whose award was presented by Cr Monique Crossling.

Then Mayor Ross presented awards to Naracoorte Active Citizenship Award winner Kate Roach. Tammy Schinckel accepted the award for Naracoorte Community Event of the Year on behalf of Naracoorte High School’s Pathways to a Pay Packet, Community Event and Agricultural Expo and Field Day.

A ceremony was then held for a family from the Philippines who were honoured to become the district’s newest Australian citizens.

The crowd then participated in the Australian citizenship affirmation.

At 11am, the jovial day continued at Lucindale.

To organise this event, council staff were supported by the town’s community economic development board, known as LINC and chaired by Louise Stock.

The joint MCs were Lucindale Area School captains Domonic “Dom” Carter, Emily Schultz and Abigail Schultz.

Mayor Ross presented each of the award winners with their awards, including Lucindale Citizen of the Year Vanessa Clarke, Lucindale Active Citizen of the Year Victor “Vic” Tischer and Lucindale Young Citizen of the Year, Luke Farrell.

Mr Ross then presented Amanda Carter and Melissa Thompson with the award for the Lucindale Community Event of the Year – Lucindale Area School Canteen Committee’s Annual Halloween Trick or Treat Fundraiser.

Presentations were followed by a barbecue lunch and soft drinks for all, funded by the LINC committee.

Naracoorte Community News 1 February 2023

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.


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