SOUTH Gippsland residents and visitors to the region can look forward to a busy Australia Day with activities planned for eight towns to celebrate the national day.

In keeping with the Aussie lifestyle, barbecues feature prominently.

Local Australia Day awards will be presented in some towns, with guest speakers, music and flag raising ceremonies also featuring in various locations.
Leongatha will welcome new Australians with a citizenship ceremony.

For those wanting a sportier Australia Day, there’s a great opportunity to take part in Loch’s Table Tennis Marathon.

Winners of the South Gippsland Australia Day Film and Photography Competition will be announced online at 5pm with the presentation available to view at southgippsland.vic.gov.au/AustraliaDay.

Dumbalk

Dumbalk and District Progress Association, with the assistance of funding organised through South Gippsland Shire Council, will run a laid-back and free evening barbecue with children’s activities.

The event starts at 6pm and is scheduled to finish at 9.30pm.

“It’s an opportunity for people in the community to get together,” Progress Association president Walter Aich said.

Korumburra

It will be an action-packed three hours in Korumburra, featuring a flag raising ceremony, live music, guest speaker and musician Kaylah Thomas, along with a community snake painting activity and native plant giveaway.

Attendees will enjoy a free sausage sizzle with lamingtons and biscuits.

The town’s Australia Day event runs from 11am until 2pm at Korumburra Botanic Park in Bridge Street.

Leongatha

It’s well worth getting to McIndoe Park in Turner Street Leongatha for an 8.30am start, with the chance to see the citizenship and flag raising ceremonies, and enjoy the music of the South Gippsland Shire brass band, as well as that of Jennifer Holm and Fiona Curram.

Local artist Melanie Caple is the guest speaker.

The event runs until 10.30am.

Loch

The 24-hour table tennis marathon runs from 12pm on January 25, raising funds for Poowong-Loch Cricket Club, the Woodleigh Hall Committee and Beyond Blue.

Strzelecki Lions will hold a Tuesday Twilight Market, with Poowong Football Club hosting an Australia Day breakfast on Wednesday.

Those keen to join the table tennis action are encouraged to ring Garry Knox on 0419 207 594.

While corporate spots are $200 per hour, they offer great exposure for your business.

Others wanting a hit can book a late night hour for just $50 that includes a well-stocked show bag.

Table tennis action takes part at the Loch Memorial Reserve, with the twilight market just across the suspension bridge.

Meeniyan

Meeniyan Hall in Whitelaw Street is the setting for an Australia Day breakfast, with plenty of entertainment packed into a couple of hours.

There will be a flag raising ceremony, and acknowledgement of Meeniyan Award nominees.

Attendees will hear from Australia Day Ambassador, fashion designer and philanthropist Sally Browne AM.

The Beady Eyed Bush Band will provide entertainment and children will have the opportunity to contribute to a community artwork.

There’ll also be guest speakers and readings from local identities and the Meeniyan Primary School.

The CFA is providing the free muffin breakfast, with the CWA on hand to offer an accompanying cuppa.

The event runs from 9am until 11am.

Mirboo North

Mirboo North Pool, on Jordan Way, will be at the centre of the town’s Australia Day celebrations.

There’ll be an awards ceremony acknowledging local nominees, morning tea and entertainment and children’s activities.

The official opening of the Mirboo North Pool takes place at 11am, with the pool open from 12pm and entry free.

Mirboo North’s Australia Day celebrations run from 9.30am until 11.30am.

Tarwin Lower

An Australia Day barbecue will be held from 12pm at the long table, Tarwin River Boat Ramp.

There’ll be river duck races, a display of classic and veteran vehicles and a raffle.

All proceeds go to the Tarwin Lower Primary School to put towards new playground equipment.

The barbecue features sausages and burgers with onions, bread and salad.

It’s $10 for adults, with children aged 12-18 years paying just $5 and those aged 11 and under free. The event runs until 2pm.

Venus Bay

There’ll be a free Australia Day breakfast, flag raising ceremony and entertainment at the Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, running from 9am until 11am.