Dubbo gets set to start the celebration

RESIDENTS new to the city will be made Australian citizens on Saturday, on a day celebrated by many as a chance to relax and remember what it is to be an Aussie.

Australia Day will see many people 'put a shrimp on the barbie' as they watch the cricket and cherish exactly what it means to be a citizen of this nation.

Dubbo City Council will hold a free public barbecue breakfast at Victoria Park from 7.30am. At 8am, the Dubbo City Band will be playing and at 8.30am the official ceremony will begin.

During the ceremony, five Australia Day awards will be given out to a citizen of the year, young citizen of the year, sportsperson of the year, young sportsperson of the year and a services to sport award.

CLICK HERE to see a full list of Australia Day events across the Central West. 

The Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre will be open at the end of the ceremony, and for one hour residents can enter with a gold coin donation between 10am and 11am. All donations will go to the Dubbo Rescue Squad.

Activities available throughout the morning will be jumping castles, face painting, Pooka the Clown, Zoo Mooves, a Paul Kirk snake display as well as displays from the Dubbo Rescue Squad, the State Emergency Service (SES), NSW Fire and Rescue and quite possibly Dubbo police.

Mayor of Dubbo and the day's master of ceremonies Mathew Dickerson said the part he was most looking forward to was "making a bunch of people Australian citizens."

"Australia Day is just another occasion where I feel exceptionally and naturally patriotic," he said.

"It's a really exciting time where you see residents wearing green and gold, wave the Aussie flag and there is real patriotism on the day.

"There will be such a great buzz and it's a great thing to see."

He said the 2013 Australia Day ambassador was Larry Corowa. He was chosen by the Australia Day Council, who in the past has allocated various ambassadors and have gotten people from out of town to spend a bit of time in Dubbo. It would give them a chance, he said, to explore the city.

"We're also working on giving out a national service medal to a Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) volunteer, but we're still finalising details.

"This is something a little different at our Australia Day ceremonies. This person was chosen because he has continually put his life at risk and the committee have recognised that," he said.

Australia Day ambassador Larry Corowa was an Indigenous Australian former professional rugby league player in the 1970s and 80s. He played for the Balmain Tigers from 1978-1983 and now resides in the Gold Coast.

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