Celebrating Australia Day in the Bega Valley

January 18, 2024 6:03 am in by

While Eurobodalla’s Citizenship ceremony has been moved to Australia Day eve, the Bega Valley ceremony to celebrate its citizen awardees, medallion winners and newest Australians will begin at its traditional time of 7:30am, with a free breakfast on Australia Day.

Council has invited the shire’s residents to its Australia Day celebrations at Bega’s Littleton Gardens on Friday January 26.

At 8.30am, the achievements and community contributions of Bega’s 2024 Citizens of the Year and Australia Day Award winners will be recognised.

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“It gives me great pleasure to announce that our 2024 Citizen of the Year is Carina Severs, our Senior Citizen of the Year is Flo Young and our Young Citizen of the Year is Tarra Glover,” Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said.

Ms Severs is known for her work within the Eden Community, and through the Eden Community Access Centre but also volunteers for several organisations in the region, including the Clean Curalo Project, Eden Chamber of Commerce, Eden Recovery & Resilience Alliance and the Department of Primary Industries’ PI Eden Sentinel Bee Hive monitoring. Carina supports people in need by offering assistance with lawnmowing, shopping, transport and other tasks.

Senior Citizen of the Year, Flo Young, co-established and voluntarily managed the Sapphire Surprise Anglican Op Shop in Eden for nearly 30 years. While in the role, Flo was a key part of an Emergency Relief Office which was operated from the Op Shop, supplying food and essentials to people in need. Over that time, she also helped plan and manage the annual Eden Combined Churches Deb Ball.

Young Citizen of the Year, Tarra Glover, has volunteered with the Far South Coast Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) for several years. Tarra has attained her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and is close to finishing her Silver Award. She has been invited back this year to do her Gold Award level. She helped organise three teams from Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires to compete in the Nations of Origin rugby league knockout competition. She now works fulltime as the manager of Eden Aspire outside of school hours care.

“Bega Valley Medallions will be awarded to 14 outstanding individuals who have served the community over a number of years: Graham Brown, Katie Ryan, Kellie Pryke, Robyn Thorpe, Steph Lazzaro (pictured below), Vera Clark, Colin Dunn, Kate Liston-Mills (pictured above), Stan Soroka, Heather Sobey, Kevin Cox, Peter Sheales, Prue Kelly and Wendy Cook.

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“Following our awards, we will welcome 27 new Australians at an official Australian Citizenship Ceremony with Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain reading the national citizenship message.

“Our new citizens are from the United Kingdom, Thailand, India, Philippines, Ireland, Scotland, Turkey, Germany, New Zealand, Lebanon and Bangladesh joining thousands of other Australians who are celebrating their citizenship.

“Being an Australian citizen is far more than a certificate and a new passport. It’s about being an active citizen. A person who displays the values Australia is well known for.”

Cr Fitzpatrick said Australia Day was the time to reflect on our history, respect the stories of others and celebrate our nation, its achievements and most of all, its people.

“While you are enjoying our Australia Day festivities, take time to reflect on what it means to be an Australian citizen: our shared values, our national history, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and our commitment to reconciliation.

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“This year we welcome Australia Day Ambassador, world superbike champion Warwick Nowland to our celebrations.

“Entertainment on the day will be provided by musician, Harper Jessop and the event will be broadcast live on the Bega District News Facebook page.”

Images: Bega Valley Shire Council, Steph Lazzaro, Kate Liston-Mills


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