People sitting and standing in the Victory Memorial Gardens on Australia Day
GET READY:  the local community is being encouraged to come along to the series of events and activities being held in Wagga Wagga for Australia Day 2024.


What’s happening in Wagga Wagga this Australia Day

Published: 12 Jan 2024 9:20am

A series of four free community events for all to enjoy will be rolled out in Wagga Wagga this Australia Day.

Wagga Wagga’s Riverside precinct will host the city’s first 2024 Australia Day community event, ‘Murun-dhu’ – I Live, I Breathe, on Thursday 25 January from 6pm.

This community event has been organised by Mawang Gaway with support from First Nations individuals and organisations, and in partnership with the Australia Day 2024 Community Committee and supported by Wagga Wagga City Council.

First Nations man conducting 'smoking ceremony' with other First Nations people watching on
📷 Australia Day 2023: 'Mawang ngiyanhi bala Yarruwala – Together we are Strong and Mighty' image courtesy of Wollundry Dreaming

The event will open with a smoking ceremony, followed by family-friendly activities and a concert featuring First Nations musicians and artists including rapper Ridzyray with Dookie and Lollipop Lawrence.

The city’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony will be held at the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre on Thursday 25 January from 7pm.

Eleven residents have been nominated for the 2024 Wagga Wagga Australia Day Awards, each recognising the individual’s generous contribution to the community.

Australia Day Awards nominee and winner on pose for photograph on stage
📷 Wagga Wagga’s 2023 Australia Day Awards ceremony at the Civic Theatre.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout said Council was delighted to have received nominations across the categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Environmental Citizen of the Year, and Walk of Honour inductee.

“These nominees have worked tirelessly, devoting time and energy into making Wagga Wagga a better place to live for all,” Cr Tout said.

“It is wonderful to see so many residents being recognised for the outstanding work they do for our community.”

On Australia Day, Friday 26 January, residents will have the chance to share in a variety of different events and activities.

A free breakfast for the community, with Halal and vegetarian options, will be provided at Riverside: Wagga Beach precinct from 7am. It will be accompanied by a sand sculpture demonstration, thong throwing competition, live music, and a trapeze performance.

Men, women and children lining up to get served a barbecue breakfast by woman wearing orange shirt
📷 Wagga Wagga’s 2023 free community breakfast Australia Day event was held at the Victory Memorial Gardens.

The city will welcome 40 new Australian citizens at a community citizenship ceremony also held at the morning event. The ceremony will be held at 9am on the main stage at Riverside: Wagga Beach, where the National Anthem will be performed by Wagga Wagga students who were finalists in the National Anthem Competition: Shae Sullivan, Lucy Green, and Sophia Eddies.

At the conclusion of the citizenship ceremony, residents can take a short walk to the CSU Riverina Playhouse to experience a series of First Nations films, documentaries, and animations with compelling narratives.

The event will also feature poetry, yarning, interactive art installations and community dialogue sessions facilitated by respected Wiradjuri Elders. Doors open from 10am and close at 4pm.

2024 Australia Day Ambassador – Wagga Wagga

Alan Pottie – 2023 Citizen of the Year

Alan is an inspiring leader who is the driving force behind Wagga Wagga’s Relay for Life, an annual community fundraising challenge raising vital funds for those impacted by cancer. Alan has led the event committee through the COVID-19 pandemic and significant weather events to overcome these challenges and successfully fundraised $125,000 over the last three years.
Alan donates his time to Cancer Connect, a support service as part of the Cancer Council, helping support cancer sufferers through their diagnoses. Alan has been named a Global Hero of Hope by the Cancer Council, a title only held by 36 people in the world.

2024 Australia Day Awards Nominations


Annette St Clair
Bill Lane
Dawn Haddon
Judy Heard


Angus Smith


Alfred Henry ‘Harry’ Edmonds
Brian Lawrence
Peter Cox


Demonstration Gardens Wagga Wagga
Monique Quinane
Sharon Forwood