Australia Day Awards


On Australia Day, we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian.  It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.  It’s the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. At its core, Australia Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebrations held in each town, suburb or city – unified by the celebration of what’s great about Australia and being Australian.

Australia Day Awards

The Australia Day awards are coordinated through the National Australia Day Council and administered by local councils throughout Australia. These awards are the highest honour a council can bestow on an individual or group for outstanding contributions to their local community. Sorell Council’s Australia Day Awards are presented at a special presentation ceremony in January each year. Nominations for the Australia Day Awards usually open in October each year.

Sorell Council’s 2018 Australia Day Award recipients are:

Citizen of the Year – Marsha Batchelor

Marsha has been involved with many community groups over the years including Sorell Cricket Club, Sorell Playgroup, Sorell School Parents and Friends and after school and ladies social netball. She is an active and committed member of South East Little Athletics of which she was awarded Life Membership in 2013. Marsha founded the South East Netball Association (SENA) in 2014 and has been the President since its inception. SENA has grown from 8 teams in its first year to 21 teams with over 500 current members for the 2018 season.

Young Citizen of the Year – Makayla Claxton

Makayla has set a fine example for young people in our Municipality through her commitment to ongoing personal education and learning in the face of very challenging circumstances. She was successful in completing direct portfolio entry to UTAS to study a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. Makayla was awarded the Sorell School Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in Years 11 and 12.

Community Group of the Year – Southern Beaches Regional Arts

SBRA was established in 1996 with the group taking part in Australia Day Events, Community Events, Art Exhibitions and Community Workshops in the years since. For the past 5 years SBRA have organised the annual Sorell Regional Art Exhibition and held annual art retreats. In 2013/2014 they established a co-op, the 3 Peaks Gallery, a small art/gift artisan shop in Gordon Street which is the only art place in Sorell.

Community Event of the Year – Old Mates Day

Old Mates day was started in 2016 by Terry White with the purpose of getting ‘Old Mates’ together for a time of renewing and re-acquainting old friendships over a meal and a drink. The 2017 event saw the Rotary Club of Sorell and Lions Club of Sorell come together to support him in organising the event to allow an opportunity for more people from across the Municipality to attend. The event was also well supported by many local young famers providing meat and produce as well as preparing the food on the day. The day was a great success with over 300 people attending and enjoying the fellowship and meal.

Aside from the presentation of the Australia Day awards, other elements of the special event include:

Citizenship Ceremony

Australian citizenship is more than just a ceremony and forms an important part of Sorell Council’s Australia Day celebrations. It symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home. Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting our diversity. Go to or contact Council on 6269 0000 for find out more on becoming an Australian citizen on Australia Day.

Affirmation Ceremony

Affirmation ceremonies allow Australian-born citizens to affirm their loyalty to Australia and its people—engendering a feeling of belonging to their community and building pride in their citizenship. These ceremonies have no status in law and no legal effect. Participation is voluntary.

Ambassador Program

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is an initiative that sees high achieving and proud Australians attend local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the nation. Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in hundreds of local communities in cities, regional areas and in the country. Sorell Council hosts an Australia Day Ambassador each year who plays a special part of our Australia Day event.