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Australia Day Celebrations

Wingecarribee Shire’s official Australia Day celebrations are set to proceed in January in a scaled-back ceremony.

Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the future of public gatherings, the annual Berrima community festivities have however been cancelled for 2021.

“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 2021

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.

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

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.

2021 Citizen of the Year Nominees

Mrs Catherine Constable OAM

Mrs Catherine Constable retired from the Board of Wingecarribee Adult Day Care Centres Inc (WADCC) on 13 October 2020 after 17 years’ service, during which she played a major part in the transformation of WADCC from a small centre to a facility which now supports over 200 elderly, frail and socially isolated citizens of Wingecarribee Shire.

She has held the positions of Secretary, Vice President and President numerous times and oversaw the expansion of WADCC’s Bowral centre. This centre is now a modern facility that will be able to cater for the increased demand for WADCC’s services in the future

Mrs Constable played a major role in the development of the Queen Street Centre in Moss Vale which house WADCC’s Moss Vale operation and Meals on Wheels. For the past for 17 years she has been an active member of the Queen Street Committee and of the Moss Vale Community Centre (formerly Senior Citizens) Committees.

Mrs Constable was awarded an OAM for her services to the community and for her 12 years on the ethics committee of Liverpool Hospital in 2015.

Ms Jill Dyson
Ms Jill Dyson has worked tirelessly for the food and wine community over the past 10 years. There are over 130 producers and restaurateurs that now have a presence, visibility and exposure because of the work she has undertaken. There are many restaurants now using local producers because of her commitment to the Food and Wine industry in the Southern Highlands.

Ms Dyson co-founded the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Clusters in conjunction with Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce, which was recognised by the State Tourism office DNSW. She was a founding member of the ‘Celebrated Producers Lunch’ that highlights our region both locally and throughout the State.

Ms Dyson established the Global Slow Food Movement in the Southern Highlands, as well as assisting with the establishment of the Southern Harvest. She is a consistent supporter of local producers, the Exeter Markets and the Moss Vale Produce Markets. Ms Dyson recently established a lady’s luncheon group to assist restaurants with the mid-week struggle for custom and promotes all these events and functions via valuable social media channels.

Ms Dyson’s commitment to the Food and Wine community has earned her the trust and respect of the local producers across the shire and her knowledge is valued by all.

Mr Richard Lane
Richard Lane is a trained opera singer who has performed extensively in Australia and United Kingdom. He is a proud member of the Southern Highlands community and long-time supporter of the Berrima District Rotary Club. He is extremely generous with his time and knowledge in supporting the local youth.

Mr Lane strongly believes that he and our community have an enormous opportunity to encourage and assist the younger generations to channel their energies into all aspects of music and as such, Mr Lane established the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster to aid and encourage young people in their pursuit to sing and perform.

The Vocal Muster’s goal is to find, support and develop emerging vocal talent from local high schools and give them an opportunity to share their passion, help them grow as performers, while gaining vital experience and confidence to follow their passion and dreams.

Following the 2019/2020 bushfires, the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster in partnership with the Berrima District Rotary raised funds for the local Rural Fire Service to purchase portable weather stations and in September 2020 Mr Lane was the driving force behind the ‘United in Care’ concerts. A concert where the members of the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster performed for seniors in local nursing homes, following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Mr Craig Madsen
Craig Madsen was appointed General Manager of the Mittagong RSL Club in 2005 and is a highly regarded member of the NSW Club Industry and regularly provides high level advice to the staff of Clubs NSW, media outlets and government agencies.

Mr Madsen has a strong sense of community and a reputation of allocating whatever resources he can muster to support charitable and sporting organisations as well as assisting the disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our community.

Through Mr Madsen’s commitments to the community, the Mittagong RSL has become the Shire’s primary Emergency Evacuation Centre.

During the 2019/2020 bushfires and under Mr Madsen’s guidance the RSL Club provided shelter to approximately 300 people and their domestic animals who were displaced by the fires. He personally ensured people had access to food, were provided with blankets, he looked after animals, walked dogs and cleaned cages.

Mr Madsen displayed exceptional leadership throughout this time and with his direction the Club provided over 7,500 meals to the Rural Fire Service, first responders and evacuees in a space of less than two months.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, he never stopped driving programs and initiatives to encourage trade and increase patronage, while keeping everyone COVID safe. All his intentions have been focused on ensuring staff were taken care off. His actions throughout this period have been selfless and always had a focus on getting the best results for the 150 strong work force and the patrons.

Mr Madsen never seeks personal glory and would prefer to be working in the engine room, which is why the club has prospered and is an integral put of our Shire.

Mr Adam Stokeld
Adam Stokeld is the Station Manager at Highland FM. Since his appointment, he has repositioned the community radio station within the Shire.

By forming strong community partnerships, the station now has a greater presence and is a vital tool for communication across the Highlands. His management of Highlands FM has seen the station provide uninterrupted entertainment, information and a sense of belonging. This was very evident in 2019/2020 with the unprecedented bushfires, a global pandemic and widespread job losses.

Mr Stokeld focusses not on himself but on those who help and volunteer to keep the station operational.

His dedication and natural abilities were recently recognised when the station won three awards at the 2020 Community Broadcasting Association Awards, including the award for Most Outstanding Community Radio.

Mr Stokeld has initiated new partnerships working with community agencies such as Community Link Wellbeing to help support the community.

Highland FM, through Mr Stokeld’s leadership, now has the respect of major community organisations and is able to provide a professional community service to all community, not for profit and volunteer groups across the Southern Highlands.

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 Mayor, Duncan Gair congratulated both recipients saying that they were wonderful ambassadors for the Southern Highlands .

"We're very fortunate to have such dedicated, hardworking and compassionate people in our shire," he said.

"There is no doubt our Shire is a better place as a result of their selfless contributions."

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.


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.

SoundDr Brendan Nelson AO - Ambassador Address

Dr Brendan Nelson AO  Wingecarribee Shire Australia Day Ambassador 2020Banner

Last Updated: January 21st, 2021
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