Australia Day 2010 was a great success with an estimated 400 people attending. Official proceedings kicked off at around midday with speeches from Sally Abbott Smith, local councillor, and Michael Rowland, an Australia Day Ambassador.
Ben Hardman, State MP, explained that this year there was no Citizen of the year Award as so many people in the community had done extraordinary things on Black Saturday and in the time since Black Saturday. Instead all those that attended were presented with a Community of the Year commerorative badge. It was very well received by those attending.
Sally said Flowerdale has become known during the bushfire recovery for putting on great events and today was no exception.
Our Community Development Officer, Sarah, and some local musicians sang the national anthem. Rumours about Sarah's singing ability were more than confirmed with a brilliant rendition. The Flowerdale Children's Choir sang the Australian Classics, "True Blue" and "I am Australian". They have come a long way with plenty of public performances over the last twelve months and were great.
A special moment was the raising of the Flowerdale flag for the first time and the crowd responded with loud applause.
The day then turned to the events which started with the Egg and Spoon Race. Plenty of contestants lined up with two heats and a final.
The Egg Throwing followed where teams of two had to throw a raw egg back and forth in a last man standing affair. There was plenty of egg on people's faces, hair and clothes by the end.
Gum Boot Throwing was next to kick off with a kids and adult division.
Alan Schultz, local horseman, set up the Horseshoe Toss and people young and old threw four horseshoes at a post. Five people managed to get the shoe to wrap around the post to make it into the final. It was very competitive.
The Sack Race had a good field, mainly made up of youngsters, and it was a competitive race although many competitors bit the dust on the way to the finish line.
The highlight of the day was the Flowerdale Gift, the traditional three legged race. There was a massive field and this year the technological innovation of Gaffer Tape was introduced as in previous years ties had become untied during the race. The handicappers taped and lined up the field according to their handicaps. The crowd lined up along the track and they were off. It was a well contested race with more falls than a Grand National and there were great celebrations from the winners at the end.
Afterglow provided the music and were fantastic. They sang a wide range of classic covers and had the crowd up and dancing.
There was plenty of food and drink, horse and cart rides and a raffle of the flag.
It was a brilliant day and made me feel very proud to be an Australian and to have the opportunity to mix in a community as wonderful as Flowerdale. I had never attended an Australia Day celebration of any kind before but I dont think I would find any event that represents what Australia is about better than Australia Day 2010 in Flowerdale.
A massive thanks to the Australia Day committee for organising the event. There are plenty of photos on the photo site and feel free to pass on any you wish to share to Julie Bateman. I will get the official results for the events and hopefully get video footage of the events.