Australia Day Ceremony & Celebrations


“In consultation with the event organisers we’ve made the difficult decision to reduce the size of next January’s Australia Day celebrations,” Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair said.

“When making the decision we considered numerous factors including the history of the event and recent social distancing restrictions,” the Mayor said. “However, it was agreed that public safety was of paramount importance.”

As of consequence attendance to the 2021 celebrations will be via invitation only and limited to immediate family members and recipients.

“A Citizenship Ceremony and announcement of our Shire’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year recipients will still take place,” the Mayor said.

Both the Citizenship Ceremony and Citizen of the Year announcements will be held at the Moss Vale Services Club on the morning of Tuesday 26 January 2021.

The traditional Australia Day Parade and markets normally held in Berrima at the end of the official morning program will however not be held.

Mayor Gair said that while the 2021 celebrations were set to look a little different from previous years it was still important to acknowledge and commemorate the occasion.

“It’s equally important that we recognise those citizens in our community that have gone above-and-beyond for our Shire and that we welcome our newest residents,” he said.

“While our 2021 celebrations may be more subdued that previous years, it will be no less important.”

“We’re confident however that our full Australia Day community program of events will return in 2022 bigger and better than ever.”

Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year Awards recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the Wingecarribee Shire Community.

Nominations are now open for  Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year 2022. 

Previous Recipients


Wingecarribee Shire's 2020 Citizen of the Year

Long-time Highlands volunteer Sidney Jeffrey was named Wingecarribee Shire's 2020 Citizen of the Year.

Sidney is a long-serving member of the Hill Top Community Centre's 355 Management Committee, the Hill Top Community Association and volunteers at the Hill Top War Memorial Hall, and the Rural Fire Service.


Wingecarribee Shire's 2020 Young Citizen of the Year

Bowral High School student Caitlin Gallagher was named 

Wingecarribee Shire's 2020 Young Citizen of the Year for her community and volunteer work.

Caitlin has a keen interest in wildlife and environmental preservation and spends much of her spare time volunteering as a wildlife rescuer for Wombat Care Bundanoon.


Wingecarribee Shire Council would like to congratulate all the nominees on receiving nomination for the Citizen of the Year Award and Young Citizen of the Year.  We would like to thank each nominee for their valued contributions to the residents and to the community of Wingecarribee Shire.

Australia Day Ambassador

The Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson AO joined Wingecarribee’s Australia Day celebrations as the Shire’s 2020 Australia Day Ambassador.

The former doctor and federal politician was the guest of honour at the Shire’s annual Berrima-based festivities.

“Over the course of his career Dr Nelson has held a variety of high-profile positions including President of the Australian Medical Association, Minister for Defence and Opposition Leader,”.

“Today he heads up the Australian War Memorial and while his tenure there may be drawing to a close, he has left an enormous legacy at this most revered of Australian sites.

“I have no doubt his address at our Australia Day service will be a highlight for many attendees.”

During Dr Nelson’s seven year appointment as Director of the Australian War Memorial he has managed numerous upgrades of the Memorial and spearheaded its $500 million redevelopment. Some of the events overseen during his tenure include the Centenary of Anzac program and Armistice poppies display.

A frequent visitor to the Southern Highlands, Dr Nelson said he was keen to take part in the Shire’s official Australia Day celebrations.

“I particularly look forward to welcoming those residents that will be taking the pledge of citizenship,” he said.

Dr Brendan Nelson AO - Ambassador Address