Upper Hunter Shire residents encouraged to have their say on 2021 Australia Day awards, celebrations

Upper Hunter Shire Citizen of the Year Justine Cooper
Upper Hunter Shire Citizen of the Year Justine Cooper

UPPER Hunter Shire residents are being encouraged to have their say on how the region should commemorate Australia Day in 2021.

On January 26, we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: a sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.

Along with the many community events that bring us all together, the day also provides the opportunity to recognise - and award - the achievements of individuals and their often unsung contributions to our communities.

In 2020, Murrurundi's Doing it for our Farmers volunteer Justine Cooper was named the Upper Hunter Shire Citizen of the Year, after claiming her town's honours.

Helen Archibald secured the Hunter McLoughlin Memorial Scone Citizen of the Year, while Tash Taaffe captured the Merriwa district's title.

Janine Katon took home the Aberdeen plaudits.

And, for those who have chosen to call Australia home, citizenship ceremonies form an important part of Australia Day celebrations, too.

Planning for Australia Day in the Upper Hunter Shire is currently undertaken by three council committees, looking after different parts of the region.

One of the committees has identified the need to reassess the range of activities with many of the official events replicated across the four townships of Scone, Aberdeen, Merriwa and Murrurundi.

This, combined with a reduction in the number of nominations received for awards and a decline in attendance at some functions, is prompting the need for a review - and to undertake a community consultation process.

Locals are now asked to complete an online survey, on council's website, by Wednesday, August 19.

Or, you may prefer to submit your feedback as a written submission addressed to: The General Manager, Upper Hunter Shire Council, PO Box 208, Scone NSW 2337; or email council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

Submissions close at 4.30pm on Wednesday, August 19.