Australia Day 2022: A Day to Reflect, Respect and Celebrate

Published on Thursday, 27 January 2022 at 5:00:00 PM

This year was the first year that the Shire of Chittering held its ever popular Australia Day event in Lower Chittering. With favourable weather conditions, a beautiful morning was enjoyed by everyone who joined us to celebrate the Shire of Chittering’s Australia Day breakfast and festivities.

The ongoing COVID restrictions added some challenges to the event, but certainly did not dampen the spirits of those who attended; but they may have possibly enhanced the event as it was decided to relocate proceedings onto the oval, making for a truly Aussie experience!

As is par for the course of the day, the celebrations took place on Wednesday 26 January 2022 in true Aussie style - on the lawn under a shady tree, accompanied by the classic Big ‘Aussie’ Barbeque breakfast which was kindly organised by the Lower Chittering Progress Association and cooked by the Lower Chittering Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

Local Bindoon Arts Entertainment and Theatre (B.E.A.T) musicians Barni Norton and David McSweeney entertained the crowds with fabulous contemporary Australian music throughout the course of the morning.

Official proceedings for the event commenced at 10am with the Shire president, Mr Aaron King opening proceedings and conducting an Acknowledgement of Country of the traditional owners of our land, the Yued people. Following the Shire President’s introduction the Local Member for Moore, Mr Shane Love, made his opening address mentioning how “2021 had been a testing 12 months with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic challenging every part of our community yet our strong sense of community spirit has kept us united; and once again proving that resilience is a big part of the Australian story”.


The Shire’s CEO, Mr Matthew Gilfellon, conducted the Citizenship Ceremony and had the privilege of welcoming five new citizens - who took the Pledge of Commitment - to Australia and into our Chittering community;

Congratulations to the following Shire of Chittering community members who are now officially Australian Citizens:-

• Cherry-Ann Gonzales
• Wendy Prisk
• Dawn Comerford
• Nigel Comerford
• Courtney Comerford

The crowd were all asked to stand for the National Anthem which was beautifully performed by Mrs Ann Elliot.
Chittering’s Shire President Cr Aaron King was our MC for the day and welcomed our newest citizens and said ‘’Australia Day is a day to tell the story of Australia, a beautiful land with an ancient and enduring culture and a resilient people. It is a story of tragedies and triumphs, of harsh challenges and resilience. It is a story to be proud of. It is our story.”


He then invited his fellow Shire Councillors to each present School Citizenship and Scholarship plus the Citizen of the Year Awards to some very deserving winners.

Cr Aaron King, firstly welcomed Cr Kylie Hughes forward to present Emily Kay with the 2021 graduating Year 6 Education Scholarship.

Cr John Curtis then provided a recount of why Jack Jones was awarded the 2021 graduating Year 10 Education Scholarship.

Cr Mark Campbell was then invited to the stage to award Abby Kitto with the Immaculate Heart College 2021 School Citizenship Award.

Cr David Dewar then presented Lucy Finlay with the Bindoon Primary School 2021 School Citizenship Award;


Cr Carmel Ross was welcomed to the stage to present the Active Citizenship award for a community group or event in the Shire of Chittering. Where Cr Carmel Ross announced the 2021 winners as:-

Wannamal Community Centre.
The Wannamal Community Centre decided to organize a night with live music and cocktail style food, that was dubbed “Bring the Rain”, with local singing sensation Ezereve, this was an event to strengthen bonds between all age groups and facilitate support for local people/businesses. In reaching out to the community, with lots of innovative ideas, the organizing committee wanted to create an event of community connection, engagement, wellbeing and goodwill.

While rain didn't fall on the night, of the “Bring the Rain” event it was described, by many, as both a memorable and successful night - in more ways than one, as the organisers believe that it just may have been the secret ingredient in providing farmers with a much wetter than average year.


Deputy Shire president, Cr Mary Angus then announced the winner of the Community Citizen of the Year (Senior), which was awarded to:-

Nita Hart
Nita is a well-known community member and dedicated volunteer who demonstrates remarkable selfless and unheralded community determination to support community organisations by making herself available for a significant number of functions and activities which ensures such organisations viability is perpetuated. Nita is extremely passionate about raising funds and assisting handicapped, ailing and infirmed individuals both within and outside of the Chittering community.


Cr Aaron King continued presentations by announcing the winner of the Community Citizen of the Year, which was awarded to:-

Dennis Badcock
Dennis is a well-known and respected local resident that gives so much to the community. He has been an active member of local emergency services for almost 30 years who shows a genuine concern for the community and the welfare of his fellow volunteers. He has been a member of the Bindoon Volunteer Bushfire Brigade since 1992 and is a lifetime member of St Johns Ambulance - Chittering Gingin Branch. Dennis is conscientious and consistently demonstrates resilience; and has helped shape our local emergency services even in the face of adversity and continues to do so.
Dennis has consistently been involved in volunteer emergency services in Chittering at all levels. Dennis is a quiet achiever who has contributed a lot of personal time and effort into the operations of our local ambulances as well as being an active Bush Fire Control Officer.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and recipients. It was amazing to hear and see many people in our community making a difference, and making the shire a better place.

Following the presentation of the Community Citizen of the Year Awards official proceedings concluded and Shire president, Cr Aaron King thanked the community for attending. Local musicians from B.E.A.T then continued to entertain the crowd whilst festivities wound down.

This event would not have been made possible without Bindoon Arts Entertainment and Theatre (B.E.A.T), Mrs Anne Elliot, the Lower Chittering Progress Association and the Lower Chittering Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. Thank you very much!

We look forward to when next year’s event will be held in Muchea.

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