Harlow and Willow spent time in a petting zoo to celebrate Australia Day in Broadford last year.

TOWNSHIPS across Mitchell Shire will mark Australia Day with a range of food, entertainment and activities on January 26.

Mitchell Shire Council will host its customary community awards and citizenship ceremony, this year in Broadford.

The awards and citizenship presentation will be during the Broadford Australia Day Festival at Island Reserve, High Street, Broadford.

The event is organised by several groups including Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell, Broadford Historical Society, Broadford Lions Club, Landcare and others, with backing from Bendigo Bank.

The day will begin with a barbecue breakfast at 7am provided by Broadford Lions Club for a gold coin donation.

There will be a flag raising at 10am, with the citizenship ceremony and community awards to be presented starting at 11am.

Live music, market stalls, community displays, a food court and bar and Broadford’s historic precinct will feature throughout the day, while a trophy is on offer for the winning team in a tug-o-war challenge at 12.30pm.

For children, there will be face painting, pony rides and a jumping castle.

Five awards will be presented at the ceremony, including Mitchell Shire’s Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Access and Inclusion Champion, Community Group of the Year, and Online or Community Event of the Year.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said the awards were ‘an opportunity for us to recognise the unsung heroes that operate behind the scenes in our community’.

“Mitchell Shire’s sporting clubs, service organisations, charities and many more wouldn’t function without a small army of volunteers,” he said.

“Australia Day is also a chance to welcome many new citizens who will call our shire home. I look forward to the day and seeing everyone there.

“The COVID-19 situation remains fluid and organisers will monitor the circumstances and implement any relevant restrictions to ensure a safe event for everyone.”

Broadford Australia Day Festival organiser Rose King said it would be a day to make social connections.

“Several community groups will be represented, including Scouts, CFA, SES, Landcare, Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell, Love in Action Broadford, Transition Village Wallan as well as local sporting clubs,” she said.

“For anyone interested in community volunteering this is a wonderful opportunity to find out what our local community groups do so you can find a good fit for your interests and skills.

“The Broadford Historic Precinct buildings will be open to the public with members providing expert information and a display of local family history which has been very well received.”

Wandong will also host its own event at LB Davern Reserve, with a free hot breakfast from 8am followed by a flag raising at 9am and then local Australia Day award presentations.

The event is free and open to all community members. People interested in finding out more information can call Allen Hall on 0413 832 411.

Seymour’s festivities will be at Kings Park starting at 8am with a breakfast that runs until 10am, with Seymour Rotary Club providing a barbecue lunch from 10am to 1pm.

At 10.30am there will be a flag raising and national anthem ceremony, and at 11am a range of awards including business excellence, Seymour police and citizens awards will be presented.

Entertainment will include a jumping castle; the Seymour Gift foot race, with cash prizes in open, under 16 and under 10 categories; a Seymour Car Club display; other community displays; sheep shearing and a live broadcast by Noel Pearson and Seymour FM radio 103.9.

There will also be Seymour Agricultural Show exhibits at the new agricultural pavilion after the 2021 show was cancelled due to COVID.

Classes include baking, open and junior; photography, open and junior; needlework and craft, open and junior; and a wool and VAS conference competition.

People can enter by visiting seymouragshow.org.au.