Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, NSW, and the raising of the flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip.
In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community.
2017 Australia Day Award Winners
SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR - Robert Johnston
Robert Johnston is a member of the North Coast Working Dog Association and has been trialling dogs since 2003. Robert’s most valued achievement is winning the Australian Open Working Stock Dog of the Year. Robert also won four awards including Handler of the Year, Open Dog of the Year, Dog of the Year and Maiden/Novice Dog of the Year, an achievement which has never been done before. Robert also runs a local community two day cattle dog trial at his home farm where all funds raised are donated to a charity. Robert works tirelessly to run the events and assists in providing his farm as a place to train.
YOUNG SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR - Jakob Jolley
(17 years of age and under)
Jakob is a natural all-rounder athlete who specialises in boxing. Jakob achieved the Junior Interstate Title Championship belt this year and competed in the local AFL Grand Final with his team. Jakob shows dedication to his sport by travelling far and wide to attend competitions as well as training tirelessly through the year, even when it is holidays.
Although boxing is not a team sport, Jakob always helps out the other boxers at the gym, happily showing the skills and techniques he has learnt over the years.
Jakob is always the first one at the gym when we have clean up days and is respectful to coaches, teammates, opponents and officials.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - Bill Bartier
(25 years or over)
Bill has given over 40 years of volunteer service to the community and continues to be an active member of community organisations to this date.
Bill is a Life Member of the Casino and District Historical Society Inc, A patron of the Casino Baseball Club, a retired member of the Casino Rotary Club, member of St Vincent de Paul since 1998, Meals on Wheels Treasurer and Auditor for Casino Tennis Club for over 30 years.
Bill has published four books on the history of our hospital and health facilities in the Richmond Valley and Bonalbo regions.
Bill previously helped run tennis competition spending many early mornings and late nights preparing the courts with his late wife Catherine.
Bill spent many years as Secretary of St Vincent De Paul’s and was involved in home visitations and assisting those in need.
Bill is a noted local historian whose time and effort into multiple committees has supported the community as a whole in many ways.
YOUNG VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - Nicholas Cobrelli Adams
(24 Years or Under)
Nick has been a radio presenter for the past 2 years. In the last year he has travelled from Casino to Woodburn to volunteer at the radio station once a week after school.
Nick has shown dedication to this volunteer role by setting up a home studio. Here he conducts telephone interviews, records sponsor advertisements, and produces pre-recorded radio shows and weather and community announcements.
Nick was able to do all this while completing advance subjects in his HSC including Extension 1 & 2 Maths, Physics and Information Processes and Technology.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Brian O’Farrell
(25 years or over)
When Brian moved back to the area he joined the Swimming Pool Committee to help advocate and raise funds for what is now the Evans Head Aquatic Centre.
Brian also joined the Evan Head Fishing Classic committee and has been an integral part of helping the event run each year.
Brian is a member of the Casino-Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club and was previously a volunteer surf life saver. Brian has always shown dedication to the club and encourages people at every opportunity to become a member.
Brian has been involved with the Evans Head Bombers Club announcing all home games each season and taking on various volunteer roles.
Brian is a member of the Golden Oldies Rugby Club that helps to raise funds for not for profit organisations.
Brian has previously been chairman of the Richmond Valley Australia Day Committee taking on a large portion of the organisation of the event.
Brian has been a member of the Beef Meets Reef Committee since 2013 and has been President since its inception playing an active role in the annual event.
Brian was one of the founding members of the Evans Head & Community Chamber and has been President since its inauguration.
Communities urged to host Australia Day celebrations
Richmond Valley Council is seeking expressions of interest from local communities, businesses, groups, clubs or associations to host and present their own unique Australia Day Celebrations on 26 January in partnership with Council. We are seeking submissions for the 2018 celebrations.
The document at the bottom of this page will give you examples on Australia Day programs, coordination of an Australia Day event and responsibilities.
There is no obligation to follow any particular format for the day other than including an official ceremony which RVC will be responsible for. Our core requirement is that the Australia Day program presented is suitable for all ages and there is sufficient time allocated to accommodate the official ceremony, which may run for an hour to an hour and a half on the day.
RVC will support the host community/club/organisation by way of the services of an officer to assist with the coordination of some elements of the celebrations. RVC will support the following aspects of the celebrations through direct financial contributions:
- Advertising of the celebrations.
- Expenses associated with the official ceremony and awards.
- Expenses associated with the Australia Day guest speaker.
- In-kind assistance would be available by way of administrative and works support.
It is envisaged monthly planning meetings would begin in September each year for the celebrations to take place on 26 January of the next year.
While the Australia Day celebrations should be free to attend, this does not exclude the possibility for some creative fundraising by your community/club/organisation. Hosting Australia Day should not become a financial burden to the host and RVC will work closely with the host to ensure a successful outcome can be achieved.
If your group or business has an interest in hosting a future Australia Day celebration please contact Council's Events Officer on 6660 0300.