We celebrate Australia Day

It doesn't matter where you're from, or what you look like, whether you're black or white, have plenty of religion or none at all, how you vote or which team you support.

The important thing is that on this Sunday, January 26 - Australia Day - we are many parts of a single nation, brought together by a common bond and united in a belief that our country is the country, that where we live and breathe and bring up our kids to be the best they can be is a country that is simply the best there is.

And we celebrate, and on Sunday the citizens of the Cooma-Monaro Shire will get together with their families, friends, mates and even strangers to honour this land we call home.

In Michelago and Jerangle, in Nimmitabel and Jindabyne and Numeralla - and even in a private house in Shannons Flat in a community event - they will be getting together to mark the occasion, more than likely with a breakfast barbecue.

In Cooma itself, Centennial Park will take centre stage as the crowds come out in the hoped-for sunshine to enjoy the spectacle, the displays and exhibits put on by sponsors and local community organisations.

There will be lots to see and do with displays of interest in addition to horse rides, a jumping castle, a sausage sizzle and a traditional smoking ceremony.

In Cooma the day starts early at 7am with the traditional Legacy breakfast at the Cooma Car Club, put on with the help of the Lions Club.

Down at the Park, from about 10am and with the theme "Engineering Heritage," the entertainment gets underway with Ben Warner, Jay Podger, the Monaro Dance Centre, the Cooma District Band and the Monaro Youth Choir.

Then at noon there will be the official proceedings beginning with the flag raising and National Anthem.

This will be followed shortly afterwards by the presentation of seven important local major awards, culminating in the Young Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

The names of the winners will be a tightly guarded secret until the official announcement on Sunday.

There will be speeches by a National Australia Day Ambassador Dr Eman Sharobeem and the Local Ambassador, Wally Mills, then the festivities will continue into the afternoon - particularly with birthday boy John Field and his giant birthday cake.

n For full Australia Day program details

- see page 2.

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