This year marked the 225th anniversary of the first British ship to settle on Australian shores in 1788. January 26th is the day to celebrate everything Australian, from its heritage to its people.
Citizenship ceremonies were held across the country with a whopping 17,059 people from 145 countries becoming Australian citizens. The largest ceremony in Sydney was held by the Sutherland Shire Council with 209 people making their pledge to Australia.
In line with tradition, Parramatta was a lift with hot air balloons taking to the sky in the early hours of the day to kick of their family friendly celebrations. Bankstown council celebrated their 25th Australia Day with an evening performance by Shannon Noll.
The Sydney CBD held a variety of events including the “Ferrython”. The Ferrython is one of Sydney’s beloved contests where Sydney Harbour becomes an arena for decorated Ferries to sail from Fort Denison to Shark Island and back to the finish line under the Harbour Bridge.
Australia Day is also an opportunity to recognise the contributions of individual citizens who made the country what it is today. Ita Buttrose was named Australian of the Year for her contributions to the Australian media and her charitable work. 571 people were also recognised for their service.
Special congratulations to a long-time supporter of the Chamber, Anthony Khouri for being recognised on the Australia Day 2013 Honours List for his service to the community through multicultural organisations. Anthony received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to the Maronite Catholic Community and various multicultural organisations.