26 JANUARY 2013


Cr Fraser – May I welcome you all to Rye on the Mornington Peninsula as we celebrate with pride our national day – Australia Day.

First, I would like to acknowledge that this special event is being held on the traditional lands of the Boonerwrung Bunurong people, who are members of the Kulin Nation.

Australia Day is a day to enjoy with your family and friends and to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful place and how much we have achieved as a Nation.

Today I would like to acknowledge two distinguished Australians.

The first is Earnest Samuel Gordon Myers who was born 122 years ago in a small wattle and daub cottage off Napier Street, Rye. With his life in front of him, and perhaps in search of adventure, he left Rye to enlist in the Australian Imperial Forces and served Australia in France in World War 1. There he died from wounds two years later aged 25.

His short life is commemorated in a plaque placed by the people of Rye and the Rye Historical Society on Remembrance Day last year at the entrance of this pier. We are all custodians of his memory.

The second equally distinguished Australian is Sir Paul Hasluck – a journalist with the West Australian newspaper. He chanced his hand at politics and rose to be Governor General of Australia. He said this on Australia Day 42 years ago:

“Patriotism is the love of one’s own country. All of us, in our different ways and in our different experience, have a love for Australia because it is our land; it is where we live, where we have our family and friends, where our work lies, and where our hopes are fixed. We love our land and think it a good place.

Australia Day is an occasion to reflect on the past – to reflect on the hopes of Private Myers as he stood on this sea shore over 100 years ago – to appreciate our vibrant democracy, and to remember that we are all custodians of this country for the future.

Today, the Rye Sea Scouts on our behalf raise the Australian Flag and we all give thanks for the peace and prosperity of this great nation.

On behalf of the Mayor and Councillors of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, I would like to thank the local community, the Australia Day Committee – in particular Judith Nauman and Barry Irving – and our sponsors Woolworths for their outstanding contribution to our celebration of Australia Day.

I wish everyone a very happy and memorable Australia Day 2013.