A range of community groups have planned Australia Day activities for residents on Friday January 26.
The main Australia Day event, presented by the Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst, is again on at Lake Weeroona and runs from 10am – 3pm, with official proceedings starting at 10.30am.
The event will feature a BBQ, live entertainment, family activities, community displays and the popular Rotary market.
Smaller events are also planned for Axedale, Eaglehawk, Elmore, Golden Square, Heathcote, Huntly, Junortoun, Maiden Gully, Mia Mia and Strathfieldsaye.
Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said Australia Day was an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Australian.
“We’ve always been regarded as the lucky country and, in many ways, I still think we are, particularly when you compare our way of life here to that experienced by some countries around the world at the present time,” Cr Metcalf said.
“As we gather in communities across Greater Bendigo, I encourage residents to consider what they value most about where they live and to enjoy the opportunity to be with family and friends.
“Thank you to the community groups and volunteers that have worked hard to plan local activities.
“However you choose to mark this day, it is important that we do so respectfully and recognise it can be a day of loss and mourning for many First Nations people. It is important we can all continue to grow our understanding of what has happened in Australia’s history.”
Last year the City of Greater Bendigo adopted a January 26 Statement of Intent, in recognition that there needs to be leadership from all levels of government on the issue of Australia Day and that we must find a way forward that is more inclusive and enables us to celebrate all histories, stories and peoples.
In doing so, this is the first year our January citizenship ceremony will be held on January 25 and include involvement of Traditional Owners.
For those looking to cool off at a local pool, there will be free entry to all indoor and outdoor pools. Please contact your local pool to confirm opening times.