SINGER Amber Lawrence was a hit at Greater Hume Shire’s celebrations.
Lawrence, 35, a well-known country singer, was the Woolworths ambassador for the Australian Day celebrations at Burrumbuttock.
A large crowd attended the celebrations, held in a pleasant setting among a stand of trees at the sports ground.
She missed Saturday night’s golden guitar awards at Tamworth to ensure she was at Burrumbuttock bright and early for the festivities.
Lawrence, who was raised at Mascot, next to Sydney’s airport, told the crowd: “I do have an affinity with country Australia.”
She has been a full-time singer for six years, after previously working as an accountant for Qantas.
Last year she travelled 80,000 kilometres around the nation pursuing her career.
She said an endearing feature of Australia was the breadth of people she had met.
“I have learnt so much about this beautiful country of ours,” Lawrence said.
“I found life is a little bit slower in the bush.”
She said Australia was a great nation that provided an opportunity for a city girl to become a country singer.
Lawrence sang The Man Across The Street from her new album, 3, which tells the true story of a Vietnam veteran living across the street from her family home in Mascot.
Click the video below to see highlights from Burrumbuttock's Australia Day celebrations. (iPhone users go to Video tab in Menu.)
He turned to alcohol for daily solace, but reacted quickly when the toddling Lawrence wandered towards a busy road, risking death and serious injury.
The veteran scooped her up and returned her to her mother.
Ms Lawrence said her song was meant as a “thank you” to the long-dead veteran for saving her life.
It became a metaphor for not only his actions, but all of those soldiers who went to Vietnam and returned emotionally damaged and found it hard to fit back into society.
The song showcased her superb voice and the 400-strong crowd showed its enthusiasm.
Both the member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, and the member for Albury, Greg Aplin, spoke before heading to other commitments on the busy day.
A feature of the Hume Shire celebrations each year is the recognition of the tireless workers who do much in the small towns and communities along with future leaders.
School citizenship awards were presented to 17 students from the council’s region.