Moree celebrates 2020 Australia Day citizenship ceremony and awards presentation

Aussie pride was in the air as the Moree community came together to celebrate Australia Day.

A late change of venue due to a severe storm last week didn't stop a good crowd turning up to the Banquet Hall for a free breakfast cooked by Moree Lions Club as well as a performance by the Moree Caledonian Society of Pipes and Drums.

The ceremony then began with Moree Aboriginal elder Noeline Briggs--Smith delivering a Welcome to Country.

Mrs Briggs-Smith was then presented with a replacement Order of Australia Medal after hers was stolen last year.

It was then time for nine people to take the pledge to become Australian citizens.

Nada Abu Alrub, Roberto and Lance Eugenio, Debabarna and Subhadeep Ghosh, Umesh Kumar, Sohyun Lee, Jutte Mikkelsen and Sara-Jayne Winn all took the pledge in front of family, friends and the Moree community.

"Our Australian heritage is made richer by contributions from people that have come across many lands," Moree mayor Katrine Humphries said.

"Today's Australia has been built from the combined contributions of our Indigenous people and from those who have come here from all over the world."

Following on from the citizenship ceremony, Moree's Australia Day ambassador Clyde Campbell addressed the crowd, talking about his experiences living with Parkinson's disease and his goal to find a cure.

"It's a disease that sucks, it really does, but you don't have to take all that in and actually give up," Mr Campbell said.

"It's a matter of how you show some of the country pride that I can see in this room today and that resilience that's there and how do we draw upon it."

The ceremony then rounded out with the announcement of the 2020 Australia Day awards.

Elka Devney won Young Citizen of the Year while Volunteer of the Year went to Kelly James and Michael Ivanov was named Environmental Citizen of the Year.

Raymond Heaton was named the Sportsperson of the Year after winning an Australian Powerlifting title in November in just his second competition.

String Section (Moree Ukulele Group) were named the Volunteer Group of the Year while Serendipity Sings won Community Event of the Year to round out the awards.