Mature Australia Day attitude in Byron Bay
AROUND 150 people crowded into Byron Bay Services Club yesterday for the Byron Shire Australia Day ceremony.
Mayor Simon Richardson spoke of the maturing attitude most Australians had developed, with focus shifting away from just a celebration of "Aussie-ness" toward a more nuanced understanding of the day's significance for both white and Aboriginal Australians.
"It's more a family day and a contemplation of the past, present and future with Aboriginal population," he said.
The Australia Day address was delivered by legendary local businessman and service station proprietor Warren "Simmo" Simmons.
Mr Simmons is also well known for his work as a volunteer fire fighter and today, as the rain pelted down outside, joked that local firies were probably having a quiet Australia Day this year.
As a past Byron Shire deputy mayor Mr Simmons was in a unique position to speak about his admiration for the Shire and Australia in general.
"When you see the strife in the world around us it really is a privilege to live here in Byron Bay and to live here in Australia," he said.