HIGH AND PROUD: The Torres Strait Island, Australian and Australian Aboriginal flags.
HIGH AND PROUD: The Torres Strait Island, Australian and Australian Aboriginal flags. Christine McKee

WHAT'S ON: Australia Day on the Northern Rivers

BARBECUES, pool parties, citizenship ceremonies, pop music countdowns, community hero awards and indigenous survival celebrations all feature on the Northern Rivers this Australia Day.

Find out what's happening in your neighbourhood by reading the list below, where The Northern Star has collected information from all five councils.


Mayor Isaac Smith will officially welcome 15 new Australian citizens in an 8.30am ceremony at Lismore City Hall.

Chef David Britton has been chosen as Lismore's 2017 Australia Day ambassador and will give a speech after the citizenship ceremony.

Ten Australia Day awards will then be presented to various citizens and groups of the year.

All are welcome and the ceremonies will be followed by a free morning tea.


Australia's first female Winter Olympics gold medallist Alisa Camplin is this year's guest speaker at the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre in Mackney Ln.

Council's website states "a full program has been planned including a Welcome to Country, Citizenship Ceremony, music performances and the announcement of the highly-anticipated Australia Day awards", with the day beginning at 9am.

A free wheelchair-accessible bus to the centre will be available for pick-up at 7.30am at the Main St bus stop in Alstonville, with three more stops in West Ballina, Ballina and on Angels Beach Dr for an 8.15am arrival.

Bookings for the bus are essential. They can be made via 1800 777 666 or balinfo@ballina.nsw.gov.au.

Plenty of fun is planned elsewhere in Ballina shire, including thong throwing, pie eating, barefoot bowls and The Plateau Bogan of the Year Fashion Parade at the Alstonville Plateau Bowls and Sports Club, where the action starts at noon.

Ballina RSL Club will host kids entertainment, a fishing competition and live jazz from noon.

There will be free entertainment starting at 10am, including thong toss, dunny roll throwing, a publican's barbecue, prizes for best-dressed, face-painting and a jumping castle, at the West Tower Tavern, followed by live music from 3pm.

Club Lennox in Stewart St will put on a free sausage sizzle from noon to 2pm, live music from 3-6pm and $5 barefoot bowls.

The Lennox Hotel will play Triple J's Hottest 100 all day and entry is free.

Live music will feature at the Australian, Slipway and Shaws Bay - "the Shawsy" - hotels in Ballina.

Richmond Valley

"Spectacular events" will be held at Woodburn, according to the council's website.

"As in past years, a community committee has been formed to host the day on behalf of Richmond Valley Council," the council states online.

"Highlights include live music by Pistol Whip, school performances, markets and food stalls, pony rides, kids entertainment, face painters, laughing clowns, amusements, rides, fireworks and much more."

A member of the organising committee confirmed events would happen all day - from 9am to 9pm - and entry was free to the site at the Woodburn oval, Wagner St.

She said plenty of parking was available in some surrounding, undeveloped streets.

Page MP Kevin Hogan will welcome two new Australian citizens in a formal morning ceremony.

At least 60 stalls are booked for the day as well as water slides for children.

The organiser said Australian-themed competitions, including thong throwing, pie eating and keg runs, would also feature.

Radio station 88.9 will provide music throughout the day before live music starts at 5.30pm, followed by an 8.15pm fireworks display.

Festivities at the historic Rappville Hotel - more than 100 years old - will continue into the night and partygoers are invited to park and sleep in the pub's carpark.

Aussie rock band Rawnchi will play covers from noon to 4pm, and there will also be a free barbecue, pub cricket, egg and spoon races, gumboot and thong throwing for children.


Kyogle Lions Club will start the day at 8.30am in the Kyogle Memorial Hall with free billy tea and damper.

Awards will be presented in a ceremony at 10am along with performances by bush poet Don MacQueen and musicians Watling and Bates, whose music is described as "old time, gothic, hillbilly, honkytonk" on the duo's website.

Four women from "diverse backgrounds" will become citizens in an official ceremony, council's website states.

Former anti-discrimination commissioner and Kyogle Australia Day ambassador Stepan Kerkyasharian will give a speech.

Free lunch will be hosted by the Kyogle Quota Club.

Entry to all Kyogle Council pools will be free on Australia Day.

Council's new inflatable activity centre will be open at the Kyogle pool and Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2016 will play.

Events are also planned outside of Kyogle, in Bonalbo and Woodenbong.

A 10am carboot market will take over the tennis courts behind the Bonalbo Bowling and Recreation Club, where no thongs will be needed for barefoot bowls and guests are invited to a free sausage sizzle at 11.30am before an official awards ceremony starts at 1pm.

There will also be team golf events at the golf course in Bonalbo.

Free billy tea and damper will be served at the Woodenbong Hall at 8.30am before the flag is officially raised at 10am with a ceremony to follow.

John Martin will give a speech and Woodenbong Australia Day ambassador and actor Alex Jones will present awards.

After free lunch, there will be a 12.30pm cricket coaching clinic at the oval behind the pool before the annual city versus country cricket match.

Byron Bay

Events are planned across the shire, in Byron, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores and Mullumbimby.

Rotary clubs will host Breakfast in the Park from 7.30am, finishing at 10am in Banner Park, Brunswick Heads, and at 11am next to the Byron Bay Surf Club, Main Beach.

The Brunswick Heads breakfast costs $5 and there will be a free return bus service leaving the Mullumbimby Newsagent at 7.30am.

An official program of speeches, award presentations and a citizenship ceremony starts at 11am in the Mullumbimby Ex-Service Bowling Club.

The Sisters for Reconciliation will celebrate the survival of indigenous culture with music, dancing and kids' activities from 11am to 3pm at Byron Bay's Main Beach park. This is an alcohol-free event.

Members of the Byron Bay Surf Club will take $10 registrations from 8am for a 10am Australia Day paddle from Wategos to Main Beach, followed by presentations.

The Byron Rural Fire Brigade will put on a free sausage sizzle, cake, kids entertainment and music from noon to 5pm at Gaggin Park in Suffolk Park.

Ocean Shores Community Association will also host a free sausage sizzle at Ocean Shores Public School from 3-5pm featuring a mullet throwing championship, singalong and rainforest walk.

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