NEWS, COMMUNITY, RECREATION, FRIENDS & FAMILY | MUSWELLBROOK, SINGLETON & SURROUNDS

June 20, 2024 7:13 PM

Muswellbrook Unites for Australia Day

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BY JEM ANSHAW

The Muswellbrook Shire Australia Day ceremony was one filled with nods to Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Guests were invited to take part in a smoking ceremony performed by Uncle Bing as they arrived, and Uncle Ritchie Lawton performed alongside some of his students to open formalities.

The local Aboriginal dance group, the Gurrawin Dancers, performed and explained the meanings of the dances much to the delight of the crowd.

In his Welcome to Country Uncle Bing spoke about the importance of sharing and respecting culture, and welcomed all those receiving citizenship to the local Aboriginal land.

The awards presentations kicked off with the naming of the 2022 Citizen of the year, which was awarded to Brian Collard.

Brian is involved with a number of local community groups, notably the Upper Hunter Show Society, he is a Uniting Church elder, and foundering member of both the Red Door Community Kitchen and Men’s Breakfast group.

Meg Southcombe was named the Young Citizen of the Year, a nod to her work with Where There’s A Will, St Vincent de Paul, St Joseph’s High School Aberdeen and the Hunter Academy of Sport.

Peter Cooper was acknowledged for his services to sport, and Brigit Smith and Brett Leaver from Denman Pharmacy for their commitment to health services.

Service to the Community awards were presented to Paul Benkovic, The Muswellbrook Family and History Society, Bec Wright, Bill and Joan Tindale and Brayden Dever.

Emity Croft and Ayton Risby received awards for their sporting achievements.

There were 10 new citizens who took the oath at the Muswellbrook services.

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