Mackay Isaac Whitsunday to host Ambassadors and Australia Day events

Published Monday, 23 January, 2023 at 02:51 PM

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

Mackay Isaac Whitsunday residents will be treated to homegrown music acts and family-friendly activities as part of a stellar line-up of Australia Day events this week.

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 Mackay Julieanne Gilbert encouraged locals to attend Australia Day activities.

“It’s an honour to host Ambassadors from around Australia here in the Mackay region this Australia Day,” Ms Gilbert said.

“This is an exciting day to celebrate our regions rich and diverse culture, and share in some fun events with all the family.

“We are blessed to be Queenslanders. I would love to see as many locals as possible at these events to celebrate – there really is something for everyone.”

Endangered species and veterans’ advocate Kevin Hughes BM and Paralympic Gold medalist Lakeisha Patterson OAM will be among the Australia Day Ambassadors attending events in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region this month.

Lakeisha Patterson OAM said she was extremely proud and honoured to be an Australia Day Ambassador for another year.

“It is always a privilege to be a part of an incredible day, sharing what we love about our country, exchanging stories, enjoying our favourite Aussie food and pastimes, whilst embracing new traditions and cultures.” Ms Patterson said.

“The day is also monumental as I love getting to celebrate the success of so many astonishing and inspiring change-makers within our country and towns, and witness citizenship ceremonies where people and families get to officially call Australia home.”

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.

The Isaac Regional Council is one of several councils across the state participating in the Australia Day program of events.

For more information about Australia Day celebrations in Queensland and the Australia Day Ambassador Program, including ambassador biographies, please visit:



Kevin Hughes

Kevin’s passion for Australian native animals started in the early 90’s, as he brought awareness to as many people as he could through the establishment of the Endangered Species Supporters Australia.

He travelled around Australia listening, asking questions and educating people in all aspects of Australia’s endangered species and how they can best assist in helping to increase the numbers of those species. He now travels around Australia working with communities impacted by natural disasters to rebuild suitable habitats for local animals.

Kevin has served in the Royal Australian Airforce within Australia and overseas, the Queensland Fire Service and is an active member of the State Emergency Service in Queensland. He is also an active Veterans’ Advocate, representing and assisting veterans who sustained injuries during the military service and is actively involved with the Black Dog Institute.

In 2018, Kevin was selected to run a section with the Queen’s Baton in Brisbane city for the Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast.

Lakeisha Patterson OAM

Lakeisha, otherwise known as Lucky, has become Queensland’s very own golden girl. Lakeisha started swimming at the age of five as a form of hydrotherapy to help ease her muscle stiffness from Cerebral Palsy left Hemiplegia.

To date, Lakeisha is a three time Paralympic Gold medalist and dual World and Commonwealth Champion. She has represented Australia at two Pan Pacific Championships, two Commonwealth Games, three World Championships and two Paralympics with other international events, medals and records in between.

An ambassador for numerous organisations and charities as well as an Order of Australia Medal recipient, when she isn’t swimming, Lakeisha studies at university, volunteers within the community, speaks at numerous events, and raises education and awareness about inclusion, diversity and resilience.