Wide Bay Burnett welcomes Ambassadors and Great Australian Bites event this Australia Day

Published Monday, 23 January, 2023 at 02:57 PM

Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Wide Bay Burnett residents will get a flavour of Australia this week, with the region combining generous helpings of its best food, music and activities as part of a family-friendly Australia Day events program.

An annual highlight of the program is the popular food and music event, Great Australian Bites – this year held in Bundaberg.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Australia Day was a time for Queenslanders to come together to reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia’s national day.

“Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate our great lifestyle and to acknowledge our history,” the Premier said.

“Communities large and small are the foundation of our multicultural country, and I encourage all Queenslanders, far and wide, to come together to celebrate on our national day.

“We are all so lucky to live in Queensland, and my Government is proud to continue its work to promote our State’s wonderful diversity.”

This year, the Australia Day Ambassador Program is connecting Queensland communities with 48 proud, high-achieving Queenslanders who’ll participate in council-run events and activities across the state.

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith encouraged locals to get involved.

“This is the fourth year that the Palaszczuk Government has partnered with the council to put on this event.” Mr. Smith said.

“In recent years, our community has displayed its pride in embracing the many diverse cultures that has shaped our region’s history and present-day lifestyle.”

“By coming together at Nielson Park and enjoying a fun, safe, and well organised community orientated event, we can all enjoy what makes Bundaberg so unique and welcoming.”

“It really be another fantastic day in the region for friends and family alike to enjoy.”

Conservationist Daniel Clarke and Chair of South Burnett Relay for Life Rowena Dionysius will be among the Australia Day Ambassadors attending events in the Wide Bay Burnett region this month.

Daniel Clarke said living with a disability and being an Australia Day Ambassador was an opportunity to celebrate inclusivity and what it means to be Australian, no matter who you are or your abilities.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the stories from so many Australians and welcoming new citizens to our amazing country,” Mr Clarke said.

Nielson Park will be an idyllic backdrop for Bargara’s Great Australian Bites celebration on 26 January – the fourth year the Palaszczuk Government has partnered with Bundaberg Regional Council to present the event. 

The Australia Day Ambassador Program and Australia Day program of events are proudly supported by the Palaszczuk Government in partnership with the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.

Wide Bay Burnett councils participating in the Australia Day program of events include North Burnett Regional Council and South Burnett Regional Council.

For more information about Australia Day celebrations in Queensland and the Australia Day Ambassador Program, including ambassador biographies, please visit: qld.gov.au/australiaday.



Daniel Clarke

Daniel is a passionate conservationist for the critically endangered orangutan populations in Borneo and Sumatra. Since 2008, Daniel, with the help of his brother William, have highlighted the species’ plight and raised more than $1 million dollars to help protect the animals and their habitat. The funds have supported orangutan care centres by building new holding enclosures and enabling investment in veterinary equipment. The brothers have also sponsored more than 50,000 hectares of orangutan habitat.

Daniel and William’s literary work on orangutan conservation has been incorporated into the New South Wales Department of Education Curriculum and Daniel has spoken to more than 60,000 students Australia wide. Additionally, their conservation efforts have been recognised by the previous United States President Barack Obama, Dame Dr Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough.

Daniel and William were also named 2021 Queensland Young Australians of the Year.

Rowena Dionysius

Rowena is from Kingaroy and has been the Chair of South Burnett Relay for Life for 11 years. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to her role and volunteers countless hours organising events throughout the year to raise funds for Cancer Council Queensland.

In 2021, an event that Rowena and her team organised raised well over $100,000 and what makes Rowena’s volunteer work even more remarkable is that a small town like Kingaroy has been able to raise over $1.7 million dollars for Cancer Council Queensland.

Rowena’s efforts have resulted in the funding of vital services that Cancer Council Queensland provide in Kingaroy and South Burnett, including accommodation and travel assistance, counselling support, and education and prevention campaigns that directly target the needs of rural communities.

Rowena was also a finalist in the 2022 Queensland Volunteering Awards.