Community groups save Australia Day at New Norfolk

LOCAL community groups have stepped in to provide Australia Day activities at New Norfolk following the Derwent Valley Council’s abandoning of the national day. Last month’s council meeting heard that the council’s only plans were to present Australia Day Awards on January 25 rather than on January 26.

Despite the complete absence of public discussion or a formal council decision on the matter, the council had apparently decided it would not stage the traditional Australia Day celebrations this year. Upon hearing this news from a council officer late in 2022, the New Norfolk Lions Club quickly called a meeting of like-minded bodies which agreed to organise a picnic day on January 26.

The Lions Club then submitted an urgent request for a council contribution towards the cost of the event, and an allocation of $1961 was approved at the December 15 council meeting. This was approved unanimously without any discussion about why the council was not staging the event itself. The closest councillors came to acknowledging this anomaly was when Cr Justin Derksen pointed out that the council’s Australia Day Awards policy specified that the awards were to be presented on Australia Day, January 26, but it appeared that this would not be the case this year.

No-one questioned executive manager Quecha Horning’s statement in a written report to the meeting that the council’s only commitment to Australia Day 2023 was “delivery of the awards program, including an awards ceremony on January 25 at the chambers flagpoles.”

The Lions Australia Day Picnic will be held on the New Norfolk Esplanade from 11am-2pm on January 26, supported by the Lions Club of New Norfolk, Kids in the Valley, D’FAT, New Norfolk Junior Football Club, New Norfolk Panthers Soccer Club, Communities for Children – South East Tasmania, and New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News.

Participants will be able to bring their own picnic with a blanket and chairs, or enjoy a free barbecue. Food vans will also be available. Activities will include glitter tattoos, badge making, giant jenga, giant Connect 4 and giant noughts and crosses, quoits, Auskick, handball, football, and an appearance by Eddie the Eagle. Competitions on the day will include egg-and-spoon races, three-legged races, sack races, tug-of-war, and thong-throwing. The event will conclude with a colour run.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news

3 Comments

  1. Well, isn’t that just TYPICAL OF OUR PATHETIC COUNCIL!
    ALL THEY EVER DO, IS DICTATE.
    TIME THEY WERE GONE, way too many dictators in Tassie

  2. Surely the opting out of Australia Day celebration should have been a decision of the elected council, not simply an executive decision? Come on councillors, exercise your position and opt right back in again!

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