Among those who were welcomed as new Australian citizens on Australia Day at Inverloch was Gary David Matthews originally from Penrith in the Lakes District in northern England but now of Paradise Beach.


ONE OF the feature events of Australia Day in Bass Coast on Wednesday, January 26 was the big citizenship ceremony held at the Inverloch Hub.

There were a number of special guests there on the day including Eastern Victoria MP Melina Bath, newly crowned citizen of the year Carol Blair and Bass Coast Mayor Cr Michael Whelan.

Cr Whelan provided the welcome and Ms Bath set the scene for the new citizens by reading out the names and brief bios of some of the region’s hardest-working community contributors, concluding by congratulating Carol Blair on the honour of being named Bass Coast top citizen.

“If you were born in this area, you are a very lucky person. If you chose to live here, you are very wise, so I am delighted to be standing in front of a hall full of very wise people,” Ms Bath said.

Carol Blair was the next to speak at the citizenship ceremony, talking about what it’s like to be a resident of the Bass Coast Shire.

She highlighted the many hours contributed by community volunteers at dozens of organisations, some of which she named, and also spoke about the work of the Bass Coast Community Foundation, with whom she served as chair until recently.

“If there is one thing, I would encourage you to do as new Australian Citizens is to get involved in any of these worthy community groups and sporting organisations, and go for it!”

The ceremony then continued with 35 people, from more than 10 different countries, standing before the assembled nations in the Inverloch Hub to take the oath of allegiance.