Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is encouraging Gippslanders to celebrate what’s best about our nation this Australia Day: our hard-working volunteers and those who work every day to keep us safe.
“We live in the best region, of the greatest nation in the world and January 26 is a day to acknowledge what unites us as a nation,” Mr Chester said.
“Its a chance to pause and count our blessings. Sure, we face some problems but we also have enormous opportunities.
“I will be giving thanks to our defence personnel and emergency service workers who keep us safe at home and abroad. They are the true local heroes.”
Mr Chester said he enjoyed the community spirit which was on show at Australia Day events as new citizens take the oath of allegiance.
“One of the best things about Gippslanders is our welcoming nature, our resilience in times of adversity and our willingness to lend a hand and to help a mate in need,” he said.
“Australia Day is a chance to acknowledge the many people who comprise our communities across Gippsland and the role of volunteers in making it the welcoming, vibrant place it is today.
“Whether it be as a volunteer fire fighter, surf life saver or community group member, our volunteers are the energy and life blood of our regional centres, rural towns and remote areas.”
Mr Chester said Australia Day was the perfect time to acknowledge the local winners of the Australia Day Awards, which recognised the achievement and contribution of individuals and groups to their communities.
“These unsung local champions are the fabric of our communities and an example to us all,” Mr Chester said.
“Australia Day is a chance to get together at local events across Gippsland, acknowledge the award winners and celebrate everything that’s great about our region and Australia.”
Details of Australia Day events across Gippsland are available on local council websites. Events include free community breakfasts, flag raising events, citizenship ceremonies, a charity cricket match and an afternoon dance.
Mr Chester said there were serious and difficult challenges that Australia still needed to face as a nation.
“How we deal with those challenges will be an integral part of our nation’s unfolding story. We have the power and the opportunity to write another great chapter in Australia’s history,” Mr Chester said.
“I intend to be as positive as possible as I work with all levels of government and the community and continue to deliver for our region. I’ll be reflecting on what has been achieved, what has been learned and what still needs to be done to deliver equality of opportunities for all Gippslanders.
“Let’s continue to create the region we all want to live in, recognise those who work so hard for the benefit of us all and help those who need a hand.
“That’s what I’ll be celebrating this Australia Day.”