Wingecarribee Shire’s official Australia Day celebrations are set to proceed in January in a scaled-back ceremony.
Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the future of public gatherings, the annual Berrima community festivities have however been cancelled for 2021.
“In consultation with the event organisers we’ve made the difficult decision to reduce the size of next January’s Australia Day celebrations,” Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair said.
“When making the decision we considered numerous factors including the history of the event and recent social distancing restrictions,” the Mayor said. “However, it was agreed that public safety was of paramount importance.”
As of consequence attendance to the 2021 celebrations will be via invitation only and limited to immediate family members and recipients.
“A Citizenship Ceremony and announcement of our Shire’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year recipients will still take place,” the Mayor said.
Both the Citizenship Ceremony and Citizen of the Year announcements will be held at the Moss Vale Services Club on the morning of Tuesday 26 January 2021.
The traditional Australia Day Parade and markets normally held in Berrima at the end of the official morning program will however not be held.
Mayor Gair said that while the 2021 celebrations were set to look a little different from previous years it was still important to acknowledge and commemorate the occasion.
“It’s equally important that we recognise those citizens in our community that have gone above-and-beyond for our Shire and that we welcome our newest residents,” he said.
“While our 2021 celebrations may be more subdued that previous years, it will be no less important.”
“We’re confident however that our full Australia Day community program of events will return in 2022 bigger and better than ever.”