THE Australia Day message goes deeper than “Aussie icons” according to Rural City of Wangaratta administrator chair Ailsa Fox.
“It’s more than barbecues, fireworks and the public holiday,” she said.
“Australia Day is a combination of the country and the towns within it.
“We need to be celebrating the things that bring smaller towns together as well as the country as a whole.”
Mrs Fox said the holiday gave the community the chance to attend celebrations to appreciate those who have contributed over the past year.
“When you look around at all the great members in our community it really is a great omen for the city of Wangaratta,” she said.
Wangaratta’s King George V Gardens were filled with about 400 people who united through patriotism.
Some donned Australian flags and colours while others proudly sung the Australian Anthem.
Among the crowd were twins Emily and Kaitlyn Robinson who were celebrating their 12th birthday in true Australian fashion.
They have been going to the park every year since they moved to Wangaratta five years ago and said they did not mind sharing their birthday because there were always special activities they could enjoy.
Mrs Fox said no matter what people did to celebrate the holiday, she hoped Australians reflected on the opportunities they had received.
“There are a lot of things about Australia that are worth celebrating,” she said.
“On Australia Day we can celebrate the culture and fairness of our democracy.”
Mrs Fox said even though the Australia Day message went deeper than barbecues and beer she was still encouraging people to enjoy the festivities.