More than 15,000 people – many dressed in green and gold – came together to celebrate Australia Day at Bella Vista Farm on Friday, January 26.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said families and friends enjoyed the activities on offer, including performances by Hi-5, Mental As Anything, Rogue Traders and The Voice’s Fasika Ayallew.
“The atmosphere on the day was just electric. I was overwhelmed by the sense of community spirit and pride shown by residents and visitors during our wonderful and much-loved Australia Day celebrations,” Mayor Byrne said.
“We had so much happening on the day, including live music performances, historical displays and our Australian passport challenge, which saw children visit six zones with a variety of experiences, while learning about The Hills’ rich history.
“We also had a surprise marriage proposal. Daniel Atkins popped the question to his partner Bianca Jones on the main stage. It was a magical moment and a very shocked Bianca said ‘yes’. I would like to wish them every happiness and I hope Australia Day 2018 was a memorable one for the newly engaged couple.
“The day also provided a great opportunity to pause and reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a friendly and bright community,” Mayor Byrne added.
In addition to all the activities on the day, the Australia Day Award winners were recognised for their contribution and dedication to The Hills.
“Congratulations to all of our Australia Day Award winners and nominees,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Our Australia Day Hills Citizen of the Year was Zoe Graham – co-founder of The Hills Relay Ball. Zoe’s involvement in The Hills Relay Ball has helped to raise over $400,000 for the Cancer Council over the past 11 years, which is a truly remarkable feat.
“Our Shire really wouldn’t be the same vibrant place that it is today if it wasn’t for all the hard work of all these amazing individuals.
“I also want to thank our staff and hardworking volunteers for making the day possible, as well as our many sponsors, particularly Telstra, Harcourts Hills Living, St George, Binvested, Virgin Active Australia and Young Living Essential Oils,” Mayor Byrne added.
This year’s Australia Day Award winners are:
- Young Citizen of the Year – Sina Aghamofid
- Senior Citizen of Year – Noreen Tait and Carol Baker-Dersch
- Citizen of year – Zoe Graham
- Community Group of the Year – Computer Pals for Seniors-The Hills and Gazelles Netball Club
This year’s Mayoral Commendation Award winners are:
- Mayoral Commendations for Senior Citizen of The Year – Lyn Bull and Jennifer Crouch
- Mayoral Commendation for Citizen of The Year – Azita Abdollahian
This year’s finalists are:
- Community Group of the year Finalist – Hills Football Club
- Citizen of the year – Michael Hungerford
To check out all the other exciting events happening this summer, head to www.summerseries.com.au.