Australia Day has become a day of great national significance which is embraced by Australians regardless of where they have come from or how long they have been here.
No matter where you live in Western New South Wales (NSW), you won’t have to look very far to find a community or family event being held in honour of Australia’s National Day.
Each year as the Federal Member, I receive multiple invites to Australia Day events taking place in many of the wonderful communities across one-third of New South Wales.
It is always a great privilege to receive such a large number of invitations but, unfortunately, it does leave me with a very tough decision to make – how many events can my wife Robyn and I make it to before the day is out?
For Australia Day 2016, I have accepted an invitation from the Lachlan Shire Council to join Australia Day Ambassador Susanne Gervay OAM in attending Australia Day events across the Lachlan district.
Susanne Gervay is an award winning Australian children’s and young adult author whose work has been published both in Australia and internationally.
I am very much looking forward to joining Susanne and residents in the communities of Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tullibigeal, Fifield and Tottenham to celebrate our great nation on 26 January 2016.
As someone who has lived in rural and regional NSW all of my life, I know just how proud we country people are to be Australians. Regardless of whatever is thrown our way, we continue to be resilient and embrace our great sense of community, our freedoms and our rights.
One of these rights that I feel very passionately about is our right to vote.
I have always been a huge advocate for all Australians being able to exercise their democratic right by voting in elections for the different levels of Government.
That is why I was so pleased to see that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) last week announced that they will have staff on hand at citizenship ceremonies across the country to assist thousands of new citizens to enrol and join over 15 million fellow Australians who are already enrolled to vote.
With a Federal election due to take place this year, I would strongly encourage everyone to check on your enrolment status with the AEC via their website at https://oevf.aec.gov.au/
I am very proud to be an Australian and I feel very privileged to represent so many other proud Australians across our local communities.
I hope you all have a very happy and safe Australia Day for 2016.