Celebrating what’s great was the message behind this year’s Australia Day festivities and there was plenty of that happening at Victoria Park yesterday.

After Dubbo’s Australia Day ambassador Bob Giltinan set the Australian flag flying to start the official ceremony, Mayor Allan Smith gave his traditional address to the 300-plus crowd.

Cr Smith told onlookers the day was a chance to come together and celebrate what made this country so great.

“We should find it easy to celebrate today as we are all fortunate to be living in such a wonderful country,” Cr Smith said.

“Our backgrounds, our culture, our language, our experiences with other people, our education, our friends, our work and our families make us the diverse country we are.

“We only need look around us to see what great people make up our country.

“From sporting greats like our own Australia Day ambassador to the outstanding recipients of the Australia Day awards and the families here today, it is easy to appreciate why Australia is a great place to live.”

He added that Australia was great because of its diversity, its land and its society built on freedom of thought and expression with a “fair go for all” spirit of mateship and fairness.

To cap off the ceremony, Cr Smith stressed the importance of working as a community not only to celebrate but also to make Dubbo an even better place to live.

“As Australians we should all be striving for the same goals, regardless of race, gender, age or beliefs,” Cr Smith said.

“It is this commitment to our country which makes us Australians, which sets us aside from other countries.

“Australia Day is a time for all of us to remember our past and look forward to our future.”

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