Big plans for Australia Day

TO get the most out of Australia Day on the Tweed it will take some travelling.

There is no shortage of activities scheduled for anyone who wants to make the most of their day off, and they are spread throughout the shire.

Tweed Shire Australia Day committee chairman Don Beck said the main shire event, at a different venue each year, will be hosted by Uki.

Tweed Shire notables and politicians will be there to give speeches, give out awards and welcome all the new Australian citizens.

The Tweed's Australia Day Ambassador, entertainment legend Donnie Sutherland OAM, will have a quickfire trip around the Tweed, first going to Kingscliff from 7am for the Breakfast in the Park before dropping in at Tumbulgum, Murwillumbah and then Uki.

Mr Sutherland was host of the longest-running music show on Australian television, Sounds, and is also a radio and racing personality. He was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2000 for his services to entertainment and Australian music.

He will give a keynote address about what he thinks is the spirit of being Australian before the Australia Day awards are presented, and Mayor Joan van Lieshout swears in our new citizens.

At the Pottsville Bowls Club players will don their whites for a game of "shirts and skirts" bowls, a competition between the men and ladies, before bowls awards are given out and the cooking competition winners are announced.

Mr Beck has looked after Tweed's Australia Day for a long time.

"For many years I have had the pleasure of being elected president of the committee and I am happy and honoured to have that job," Mr Beck said.

He said his favourite thing about Australia day was seeing families get together on a day off for an opportunity to enjoy themselves.

One of the more unusual activities is the annual Australia versus India cricket match at Tyalgum's Bruce Bartrim Oval, which has been going for as many years as Mr Beck can remember. The village also features the Tyalgum Cup cycling race, plus damper and ANZAC biscuit competitions.

At Tumbulgum you can check out a display by the Tweed Area Street Rodders, then enjoy live music and novelty events for the rest of the day.

Thousands of people are expected to pack our beaches and many backyard cricket games will be played to the soundtrack of Triple J's Hottest 100.

The Sandbar+Grill at Casuarina Beach has thrown out an invitation for Tweed residents to celebrate at its barbecue by the beach, featuring live entertainment from local groups.

The gourmet feast kicks off at 2pm and will include Aussie favourites like barbecue steaks and sausages cooked up by renowned award-winning chef Greg Pieper.

Meanwhile, Kirra surfers will paddle out at the once world-class surf break and form a map of Australia in the ocean as a protest of the sand-pumping, which has turned the beach into a desert and killed the waves.

Murwillumbah will be relatively quiet, with just a Rotary Breakfast, before the flag raising and awards presentations.

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