Australia Day celebrations

One of the newer ways of celebrating Australia Day is an informal parade of utes. Decked out with Australian flags, Eureka flags and the odd inflatable kangaroo, the utes made their way up and down East Street, to the delight of onlookers.

Beverly Hughes has been honoured as Narrandera Shire’s Citizen of the Year.

Ms Hughes, along with the other honourees, was commended at the Narrandera Australia Day awards ceremony in Marie Bashir Park on Friday morning.

The recipients received their awards from Mayor Neville Kschenka and Australia Day Ambassador Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO. Citations were read by CWA President Beryl Brain.

Unfortunately, Ms Hughes could not be present for her award, which was accepted by Soroptimists President Iris Schofield.

“Bev is very humble. She gets in there and just gets things done,” Ms Schofield said.

Ms Hughes is not only a member of the Narrandera Soroptimists, but she is also on the Domestic Violence Committee, is a member of the Golf Club, delivers Meals on Wheels and is a member
of the Friends of Cypress committee.

Senior Citizen of the Year was awarded to Doris ‘Dot’ Charles.

“Dot volunteers at Teloca, as well as at the hospital. She visits the patients regularly, delivering magazines, and she has been a member of the Bulloak CWA for 60 years,” Ms Brain said.

Junior citizen was presented to 19 year-old Matthew Whiteman. According to Mrs Brain, after a serious car accident, Matthew’s recovery has surpassed all medial expectations. Matthew volunteers with a reading group with local schools, coaches Little Athletics and gives over an enormous amount of his time to volunteering in the Narrandera community.

The organisation of the year was awarded to Can Assist.

“Can Assist is committed to ensuring that all people throughout NSW have the opportunities to access medical treatment for cancer,” said Neta Close, a member of the Narrandera chapter of Can Assist.

“I commend each of the Narrandera Shire award recipients for the contribution they have made towards our community,” Cr Kschenka said.

2018 Australia Day Ambassador Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian with his
wife Hilda.

“This is a great opportunity to recognise their efforts. I see many of the wonderful things volunteers in our community do for others each and every day and our community is fortunate that they continue to contribute. On behalf of the Shire I wish to thank everyone who volunteers.”

Dr Kerkyasharian gave a speech to the gathered crowd, informing them that for the past 18 years in his role as an Ambassador, he has always chosen to travel to regional Australia rather than stay in Sydney.


“We feel that we find the real Australia. I know that you have a welcoming spirit. This harsh land has been built because you have faced the challenges this land has presented,” Dr Kerkyasharian said.

“It’s a great honour to be an Australia Day Ambassador. Australia Day today means different things to different people. That’s a natural part of the development and dynamism of a culture.

“But it is a chance for us to reflect on where we are today. Our history does not date back a thousand years, but tens of thousands. We know and we feel pride in the fact that we Australians are the trustees of the oldest living culture in the world.

“January 26 was the start of the fusion of two cultures. Two-hundred and thirty years ago those 1420 people who landed here were the first migrants. This park is named after the daughter of another family of migrants.

“The majority of Australians are migrants, or the children of migrants. Migrants came to Australia because they know that this is the country of opportunity. They know that there is freedom of speech, and they know that this is a just country.

“We have a duty as Australians to keep these values that have made us the best egalitarian society in the world. We as a people are custodians of a beautiful way of life. We must preserve
that way of life for our children, and grandchildren,” Dr Kerkyasharian said.

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