Australia Day 2020 in Port Stephens will raise funds for bushfire relief programs

2019 Australia Day celebrations on the water at Nelson Bay. Picture: Elcee Photography
2019 Australia Day celebrations on the water at Nelson Bay. Picture: Elcee Photography

Australia Day events at Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay, Lemon Tree Passage and Karuah will have everything from markets and live music to flypasts and speed boats.

But it won't just be families that benefit during the Port's Australia Day celebrations on Sunday, January 26, with organising committees at the Nelson Bay and Tilligerry events collecting funds for bushfire disaster relief programs.

Doug Cross, now in his 21st year as chairman of the Nelson Bay Australia Day Committee, said that proceeds collected from golf coin donations throughout the day would go to the local Rural Fire Service, whose members are deployed to fight the south coast bushfires.

"I believe it is only fitting that we can offer the proceeds from the day to the men and women who have been out fighting fires and supporting communities right across the state," he said.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said Australia Day was a time for reflection.

"And it's times like these, with large parts of our country affected by bushfires, that make you remember what it truly means to be Australian - banding together, looking out for each other and helping in any way we can," he said.

"The Rural Fire Service will be at many of our Australia Day events and I'd encourage our community to show their support for our firies and for those who have been affected by the fires."

AMBASSADOR: Ron Delezio, cofounder of Day of Difference Foundation, will be the Australia Day Ambassador for Port Stephens in 2020.

AMBASSADOR: Ron Delezio, cofounder of Day of Difference Foundation, will be the Australia Day Ambassador for Port Stephens in 2020.

Ron Delezio, co-founder of Day of Difference Foundation, has been announced as the Port's Ambassador for Australia Day.

Mr Delezio and his wife Carolyn watched daughter Sophie Delezio fight for her life in hospital after two very serious accidents.

In 2004, the couple founded the Day of Difference Foundation to help critically injured kids and their families.

The foundation has raised in excess of $14 million for urgently needed hospital equipment and research and is now offering his family support programs to help the needs of families of critically injured children in hospitals around Australia.

Mr Delezio will make an Australia Day address at Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay.

Neil Carroll Rotary Park at Fly Point will again be the venue for celebrations in Nelson Bay, starting with the customary Australia Day parade which sets off at 9am from Laman Street, along Victoria Parade up to Fly Point.

Performing on stage this year will be Hunter School of Performing Arts Marching Band, the Robyn Yvette School of Dance, live band Misbehave plus Magic on Stage.

The official ceremony will begin at 12 noon with Welcome to Country, flag raising and singing of the national anthem. They will be followed by the announcement of the Port Stephens Annual Awards winners, Australia Day address, citizenship ceremony and cutting of the Australia Day cake.

Other features include food court, barbecue, hot and cold drinks, free Australian flags, free pony rides and jumping castles for children plus an RAAF flypast.

Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace will be treated to a noon RAAF fly past by F/A-18 Hornets. This will be the last Hornet Australia Day fly past as they will be phased out this year and replaced by the F35 Lightning.

RAAF flypast at Nelson Bay in 2019. Picture: Elcee Photography

RAAF flypast at Nelson Bay in 2019. Picture: Elcee Photography

Also on display in Nelson Bay will be alpaca and sheep shearing demonstrations and baby animals. All day markets with more than 90 stalls plus vintage and classic car displays and the popular Australian Reptile Park shows and educational talks.

Port Stephens Council is partnering with the Rotary Club of Raymond Terrace to host a family fun day at Riverside Park on Sunday.

Festivities will start at 8am with a free barbecue breakfast supported again this year by Raymond Terrace Bowling Club and cooked by the Rotary and Lions clubs of Raymond Terrace.

Cr Palmer will preside over the official ceremony on The Mutual Stage at 9am with the presentation of the prestigious Port Stephens Annual Awards.

A Port Stephens Council spokesperson said that currently there were 28 citizens expected to take part in both Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay citizenship ceremonies.

CELEBRATIONS: Revellers enjoying last year's Australia Day celebrations hosted by Tilligerry Lions at Lemon Tree Passage's Henderson Park.

CELEBRATIONS: Revellers enjoying last year's Australia Day celebrations hosted by Tilligerry Lions at Lemon Tree Passage's Henderson Park.

Kevin Colman, coordinator of the Tilligerry Lions Australia Day breakfast to take place along the Lemon Tree Passage foreshore, said that all funds raised on the day would go towards bushfire relief.

The annual event sponsored by the Lions Club and Port Stephens Council will be held at Henderson Park from 8am to noon.

"We will have the usual bacon and egg sandwiches, sausages, tea/coffee and juice on sale. Live music with local band, the Australian Army Band Newcastle and soloists will entertain the crowds. There will also be children's amusements, free jumping castle and slide and water slide. Bring along a chair and umbrella," he said.

The cancelled New Year's Eve fireworks will be held at Tilligerry RSL Sports Club on Australia Day night, weather permitting.

Australia Day events will also be held at Karuah RSL from 9am to 9pm.

Australia Day events in Port Stephens

  • Nelson Bay: Fly Point Park from 9am to 3.30pm
  • Raymond Terrace: Riverside Park from 8am to 2pm
  • Karuah: Karuah RSL from 9am to 9pm
  • Lemon Tree Passage: Henderson Park from 8am to 1pm