Darling Downs South West Queensland welcomes Ambassadors and Great Australian Bites event this Australia Day

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

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

Darling Downs South West Queensland 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 festival, Great Australian Bites – this year held in St George.

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.

2020 Queensland Local Hero Assistant Professor Nick Marshall OAM said it was an honour to be an Australia Day Ambassador and have an opportunity to meet and share stories with other Australians.

“I’m particularly excited about heading to Dalby in the Western Downs region because after spending my life at the beach and on the coast it’s a chance for me to see and experience parts of our great country that I have never had the chance to go to,” Assistant Professor Marshall said.

Roma’s The Big Rig will play host to its own Great Australian Bites on the 26 January, as part of a new Queensland Government partnership with Maranoa Regional Council.

It will be an afternoon full of family-friendly activities, local food vendors, cooking demonstrations, and live music from local talent.

The HUB in St George, will be an idyllic backdrop for the Balonne Shire’s Great Australian Bites celebration on 28 January – the second year the Palaszczuk Government has partnered with Balonne Shire Council to present the event. 

Patrons can try fresh local produce, take part in a cooking demonstration and enjoy live entertainment from home-grown talent.

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.

Darling Downs South West Queensland councils participating in the Australia Day program of events include:

Balonne Shire Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Paroo Shire Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council.

Australia Day Ambassadors attending events in Darling Downs South West Queensland this month include:

  • Dr Tim Baker – author, thought leader and international consultant.
  • Dr Sharon Boyce – disability advocate and published author.
  • Elijah Buol OAM – multicultural advocate.
  • Distinguished Professor James Dale AO – 2019 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year and 2015 Queensland Great.
  • Paul Dellit OAM – actor, musician and producer.
  • Dr Dimity Dornan AO and Peter Dornan AM – 2018 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year and 2020 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year respectively.
  • Tim Fairfax – company director, pastoralist and philanthropist.
  • Gitie House OAM – multicultural ambassador.
  • Karen Jacobson – international concert artist, songwriter, speaker and original Australian voice of ‘Siri’.
  • Habib Jamal – Multicultural Ambassador and community leader
  • Natasha Johnston – founder of Drought Angels.
  • Madelyn Jones – co-founder of social enterprise charity The Good Box and homelessness advocate.
  • Assistant Prof. Nick Marshall OAM – 2020 Australian of the Year Local Hero for Queensland.
  • Melissa and Peter McGuinness – founders of YOU CHOOSE Youth Road Safety.
  • Bruce Morcombe OAM and Denise Morcombe OAM – joint 2012 Queensland Australian of the Year, child safety advocates and 2020 Queensland Greats.
  • Emeritus Professor Roland Sussex OAM – languages expert.

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