What’s happening on Australia Day in the Byron Shire?

A range of activities are being held by community groups across the Byron Shire on Australia Day (Thursday 26 January).

Council will be hosting a Citizenship Ceremony at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay from 11am, officiated by the Mayor Michael Lyon, who will be joined by Byron Shire Australia Day Ambassador, Allan Sparkes CV, OAM, VA, FRSN.

“It is an honour to welcome our new citizens alongside Allan Sparkes who has won medals for bravery and for his life-long dedication to mental health intervention and support of indigenous issues and programs,” Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said.

“Mr Sparkes is one of Australia’s most decorated individuals and I encourage everyone to make the most of the opportunities to hear him speak and meet him in person,” he said.

Mr Sparkes will also be attending and speaking at a number of community events throughout the day including:

Survival Day 2023 being held from 11am – 2.30pm at Apex Park (Main Beach) in Byron Bay with a live band, speeches, music and dance. Brought to you by the Arakwal Bundjalung People of Byron Bay, Sisters for Reconciliation and the Cavanbah Reconciliation Group;
The Rotary Mullumbimby Community Day being held from 10am – 3pm at Mullumbimby Pool with free entry, inflatables, fun slides, facepainting, BBQ and much more; and
The Ocean Shores Community Association’s annual Mullet Toss from 3pm – 5pm at the Ocean Shores Public School with a free sausage sizzle, cakes, Aussie singalong and prizes.

Last year, Council made a decision to move its annual community awards ceremony, normally held on the evening of 25th January, to a different time of the year that will coincide with Local Government Week (1 – 7 August 2023).

“So while other Councils are announcing their Citizens of the Year and other community award winners as they normally do to coincide with Australia Day, we’ve decided to move our awards program to another time of the year that is more aligned with what our community values,” the Mayor said.

“We’ll be putting the call out far and wide for nominations for our new Community Awards in coming months – and we encourage everyone to have a think about who they’d like to nominate,” he said.

For more information about Community Award nominations and events happening around the Byron Shire on Australia Day, see Council’s website.