We Celebrate Australia Day at Arcadia.
|This morning we gathered at the Arcadia Community Centre to celebrate Australia Day. A cool morning with a south breeze helped keep some of the flies away, but being in Australia you have to have some flies to exercise the arms!!
Since 1994 when Australia Day was made a public holiday to celebrate the event on the actual day, the Arcadia Community has gathered and enjoyed a breakfast barbeque. The first years were modest events, snags and burgers were the order of the day and we had a local or former local to say a few words. Today the cuisine includes a greater range of delicacies prepared by Gavin, Barry, Bernard, John and Fran. We are now part of the Australia Day Ambassador Program where we have the opportunity to have a guest speaker from a different environment.
Following the breakfast which 70 people enjoyed we had the flag raising ceremony performed by the Arcadia Fire Brigade Captain Ray McManus, who was last years Arcadia Citizen of the Year, followed by the singing of the National Anthem.
The MC Ros Sinclair then introduced our two Australia Day Ambassadors, David and Clair Marsh who gave an informative and entertaining address, where political correctness was overlooked to some degree.
They spoke of Aussie volunteerism and how good we are at it, from assisting at times of fire and flood to the most recent tragety where people were run down in the Bourke St Mal in Melbourne, which saw many people who just happened to be there at the time assisting those who were injured in this senseless act. The Marsh’s themselves are active volunteers, they happened to be in Bali in 2002 when the bombing occured there, when told of it their first reaction was to help, consequently David spent twenty hours assisting at the Denpasar Hospital, he said this experience has had a lasting effect on his life. On returning to Australia following the bombing they established The Marsh Foundation, this organisation made up entirely of volunteers obtains and recycles medical equipment and goods which are then sent to Indonesia and other Asian countries, he said the waste of medical goods here in Australia is enormous mainly owing to OH&S regulations.
They asked us not to loose the Aussie-ness of our language and gave examples of Americanism creeping into our every day speech. David spoke of the Australian qualities that were portrayed by The Aussie Diggers at the Battle of the Nek at Gallipoli in World War1.
Ros Sinclair in announcing the Arcadia Citizen of the Year said: “This person has demonstrated that with planning, determination and follow through you can achieve great things for a small rural community”.
They were first involved with the Arcadia and District Progress Association in 2008 and then a member of the Arcadia Committee of Management. During this time they helped organise many events including Christmas Parties and Australia Day Events. They also applied for community grants to improve the facilities at the Recreation Reserve.
This person initiated and launched the Arcadia Community Plan which outlines the vision of the community in practical terms. The community plan is the basis for working with The Greater Shepparton City Council and achieving these goals. The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award winner is Lisa Menhenett.