Man in mayoral robes of red hands certificate to young girl in white dress
WARM WELCOME:  The Citizenship Ceremony at the Riverside: Wagga Beach precinct was one of several events held in Wagga Wagga which brought the community together to mark Australia Day.


Australia Day events celebrate our city’s cultural diversity

Published: 26 Jan 2024 11:55am

From a Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations opening concert to a free barbecue breakfast and citizenship ceremony, the Wagga Wagga community came together this week to mark Australia Day 2024.

‘Murun-dhu – I Live, I Breathe’ on Thursday evening (25 January) marked the start of Wagga Wagga’s series of community events.

It attracted a strong gathering of people of all ages and cultural backgrounds to the Riverside: Wagga Beach precinct for the community concert, featuring Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations artists and performers.

The event was organised by Mawang Gaway with support from First Nations individuals and organisations, and in partnership with the Australia Day 2024 Community Committee and Wagga Wagga City Council.

The cultural diversity of our community was also at the heart of the celebrations at the Riverside: Wagga Beach precinct on Australia Day itself, with the free community breakfast and live entertainment well-supported by the community.

People of all ages gathered with family and friends to reflect, respect and celebrate the significant contributions that everyone makes to our community.

The family-friendly activities were popular amongst event attendees. This year's activities included a thong-throwing competition which drew a strong field of competitors, and a live sandcastle sculpture demonstration, where attendees were able to participate in creating their own sandcastle sculpture.

The Citizenship Ceremony, conducted by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout, saw 38 people become our newest Australian citizens.

“It was wonderful to see the diverse cultures represented at the ceremony, as well as the wide age range of our newest citizens, with the youngest just three years old, and the oldest, 91,” Councillor Tout said.

“This is an important day for you, and as the Mayor of this city, I am privileged and proud to play a role in making you Australian citizens.

“All our new Australians citizens today have a unique story to tell.  For some, the journey has been particularly difficult, and we welcome you with open arms.”

The official ceremony concluded with the singing of the Australian National Anthem by Shae Sullivan, Lucy Green and Sophie Eddies, accompanied by the Australian Army Band Kapooka.

Rounding out the morning, residents attended the second Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations event at the CSU Riverina Playhouse where community members experienced a series of First Nations films, documentaries, and animations of compelling First Nations narratives.