Community voices support for change for January 26 events

Published on 23 August 2023


Glenelg Shire community members have actively voiced their support for change, with a majority voting for Council to step back from leading citizenship ceremonies, awards and civic events on January 26, 2024 and beyond.

Councillors last night endorsed the community’s feedback on the future of the Council’s involvement in events and activities on January 26 following a month-long consultation process.

The consultation was one of Council’s biggest topics, with almost 500 responses received both online and in hard copy.

The community’s response highlighted a majority for all three consultation points:

  • 62% in favour of Council delivering a citizenship ceremony on any date between January 23 and 29, just not on January 26;
  • 62% in favour for the Australia Day Awards to be rebranded and delivering at another time during the year;
  • 59% in favour for Council to cease holding Civic Events on January 26.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Scott Martin said the community had been put at the forefront of the decision-making process.

“The community have spoken and Council last night endorsed the sentiment for change for Council-led events, citizenship ceremonies and awards on January 26,” he explained.

“We are seeing changes to the way Councils’ and their communities approach January 26 right across the country and our community have taken this consultation opportunity to voice their appetite for change in our region.

“In terms of the awards and events, details around the re-branding of the Australia Day Awards will be released in the coming months and our Citizenship Ceremonies will continue to be held throughout the year. We confer citizens all year round and thanks to the changes to the Citizenship Code (The Code) we now have greater flexibility in when we can host these ceremonies.

“Council-led civic events in Portland and Casterton on January 26 will no longer continue, however community-led events can still be held, such as those coordinated by our rural townships or small community groups.

“We thank the community for voicing their views and as a Council we are proud to follow the community’s direction in this matter.”

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