Australia Day Picnic Breakfast Event

Published on Tuesday, 26 January 2021 at 1:00:00 PM

What a great morning! We hope you had a chance to join us this Australia Day in Neergabby for the Shire of Gingin’s ‘Australia Day Picnic Breakfast’. We were very fortunate this year to enjoy a cool morning under the shade of the trees at the Neergabby Grounds on the banks of the Gingin Brook.

Thank you to the folk from the Neergabby Association who manned the barbecue this morning to provide us all with a hearty picnic breakfast and to the local coffee van. It was an early start for some so no doubt some breakfast and coffee were much appreciated!

Event attendees arranged themselves on the grass beneath the trees with local musician, Kelly Gardner, once again setting the atmosphere with a selection of classic Australian songs and ballads.

Official proceedings commenced from 9am with a great crowd turnout of nearly 400 in attendance. Shire CEO, Aaron Cook, opened proceedings and invited Cr Jan Court forward to conduct an Acknowledgement of Country and the Yued People of the region. Attendees were then invited to stand and sing the National Anthem which this year featured a new second line with the words ‘For we are young and free’ replaced with ‘For we are one and free’. Some of us may or may not have remembered to sing the new version!

Following this Shire President, Cr Wayne Fewster, stepped forward to undertake his opening address. He touched on a number of topics during his speech including the recent Red Gully and Yeal bush fires and of course, the ever present COVID-19 pandemic which affected our lives so much during 2020 and continues to do so.

Cr Fewster then proceeded to conduct the Citizenship Ceremony. The community had the privilege of welcoming 4 new citizens to our Shire and by extension, to Australia this Australia Day. Congratulations to the following on officially becoming citizens of Australia:

  • Patrick Heasman
  • Anastasia Howard
  • Ariel Gabon
  • Zara Wild-Smith

A slideshow from the Australia Day Council was then played before our new citizens, together with the community, stood to undertake the Australian Affirmation Ceremony which was shortly followed by everyone joining in to sing ‘I Am Australian’.

Councillors Andrea Vis, Kim Rule and Linda Balcombe were then invited forwards to present the 2021 Australia Day WA Community Citizen Awards. There was a good number of nominees this year which is indicative of the great number of people involved with and striving to better our communities. It made it extremely difficult to determine an award recipient for each of the 3 categories that nominees were nominated for.

Congratulations to all of the following nominees and recipients:



  • Gingin Environmental Group
  • Gingin Outdoor Activity Space
  • Guilderton Visitors Centre Volunteers
  • Roxanne Fewster

Recipient – Roxanne Fewster



  • Arthur (Herb) Elliot
  • John (Skip) Truswell
  • Murray Hyne
  • Terri James
  • Theo Mossveld

Recipient – John (Skip) Truswell



  • Alicia Gomersall
  • Jane Taylor
  • Roxanne Fewster

Recipient – Jane Taylor

Following the presentation of the Community Citzen of the Year Awards, special guest speaker, Gloria Hyne, was invited forward to address the audience.

Gloria originally hails from Manitoba, Canada and moved to Australia with her two young sons to live with Murray Hyne after meeting him when he came to Canada on an exchange program in the late 70s. She shared her story with the audience regarding her experiences both before coming to Australia and since. Attendees were very much moved by Gloria’s personal story of overcoming the loss of her first husband in a farming accident. Her tale was not without some humour however and since arriving in Gingin, Gloria has gone on to become an invaluable member of the Gingin community. Her involvement in the Gingin Scouts, local fire brigade and other community areas, is well known by many community members. Thank you to Gloria for sharing the story of your very personal journey with us.

Official proceedings concluded with one last song (‘Waltzing Matilda’). The Shire President, Cr Wayne Fewster and Shire CEO, Aaron Cook, thanked the community for attending and also the large number of people who contributed to the setup, pack up and running of the event. This event would not have been made possible without the assistance of the Neergabby Community Association (breakfast), Kelly Gardner (musician), Debra Chapman and Vicki Colyer (flower arrangements), Councillors (Kim Rule, Linda Balcombe, Jan Court & Andrea Vis) and Shire event staff (Amy Gibbs, Kailee Williams, Genesia Koorasingh, Miranda Wallace and with a special mention to the Shire’s Maintenance Team). We all appreciate your contribution to this event which would not have been a success otherwise.

The Shire had a member of staff take photographs during the event. A copy of those photos may be viewed on the Shire’s Facebook page ( If anyone would like a copy of these photos, the Shire is happy to supply at no cost. Contact

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Shire of Gingin Offices


7 Brockman Street
Gingin WA 6503

T: (08) 9575 5100

F: (08) 9575 2121



255 Vins Way
Lancelin WA 6044

T: (08) 9575 5155

F: (08) 9575 2121


Yued Country Moore River Region