Australia Day 2018


This year, MidCoast Council will be holding Australia Day Ceremonies in each of the three former Council regions, Gloucester, Great Lakes and the Manning.

Find out where our Australia Day ceremonies will be held, what's on the program and who our 2018 Australia Day Ambassadors are.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program sends high achieving and proud Australians to local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the nation. The Program supports the growth of Australia Day celebrations in NSW, through the involvement of high achieving and distinguished Australians who come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Gloucester Region

A whole day of enjoying what we love about this great country! Starts 8am at Billabong Park with an Aussie barbecue breakfast where you can hear the inspirational Australia Day Ambassador: Paralympian swimmer Taylor Corry.

(In case of wet weather the celebrations will be held at the Recreation Centre). The fun family line-up includes barbecue breakfast, award presentations and cutting of the Australia Day cake.

The Pool Gala Evening starts at 2pm will include free entry to the Olympic Pool complex in Gloucester District Park, the Rotary Club fundraising barbecue, a lolly drop and entertainment.

Gloucester’s Australia Day celebrations commence at 8am in the Billabong Park with Welcome to Country ceremony followed by the raising of the flag and our traditional Australian breakfast of bacon, egg and sausage sandwiches expertly prepared by our local charitable organisations CWA, Quota, Lions & Rotary Clubs. A gold coin donation will be appreciated to assist in offsetting growing costs of this event.

At 9am, the formal part of the program will commence with key note addresses from the Deputy Mayor and Ambassador. Awards presentations will be made to the winners of the Colouring-in Competition, Project of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year.

Australia Day Ambassador


The 2018 Australia Day Ambassador for Gloucester is Taylor Corry, an Australian S14 swimmer who won two silver medals at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics for 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle.

Making her debut in National colours at the 2011 Global Games in Italy, burgeoning teenage star Taylor Corry produced a highly promising first up performance. Taylor was one of the stars of the meet, winning eight Gold and one Silver.

Taylor, who has an intellectual disability, initially made waves at the 2009 National Underage Championships, winning three Gold and two Silver medals to underling her enormous potential. Still only a teenager who was yet to finish school, Taylor has continued to dominate all junior events she has competed in and romped home with seven Gold medals from as many events at the 2011 Underage National Championships.

Taylor competed at the 2013 World Championships in Montreal, winning a silver medal in the 200m freestyle, and a bronze in the 100m backstroke at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow. Her current highest world ranking is 4th in the 100m backstroke.

While she is extremely driven in her quest for success in the pool, Taylor enjoys her time hanging out with friends and tries to encourage them in their own pursuits. Having grown up in Anna Bay, on the NSW Coast and as a water person, it is not surprising that she also loves to go to the beach.

Coach Tom Davis has been a long time mentor and influential figure throughout Taylor’s quickly escalating career. She uses Tom’s guidance and the achievements of contemporary Australian Swimmers Ian Thorpe, Geoff Huegill & Libby Trickett as motivation and inspiration.

Taylor is a fulltime athlete and learn to swim instructor. Taylor’s simple goal for the future is to be the best she can be.


8am - Welcome to Country by Elder Norma Fisher; flag raising ceremony and National Anthem; thanksgiving prayer by Paster Ty Soupidis.

8.15am - Australia Day breakfast

9am - Entertainment by Gloucester High School students

9.15am - Citizenship Ceremony

9.30am - Awards for Best Dressed Competition and Colouring-in Competition

9.45am - Welcome to guests; High School Captains Address; Keynote Addresses; Official Welcome by Deputy Mayor Katheryn Smith; Address by Federal Member Dr David Gillespie MP; Ambassador's Address by Taylor Corry.

10am - Awards presentations for Best Business Displays, Project of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year; cutting of the cake; presentation of Ambassador Pin.

10.30am - Official Ceremony concludes

2pm - 7pm - Pool Gala event - Gloucester Swimming Pool - Free entry, a barbecue supplied by the Gloucester Rotary Club, a lolly drop and entertainment. 

Great Lakes Region

 The 2018 Great Lakes celebrations will be held at Club Forster on Friday 26 January.

The day will be begin with morning tea at 11am followed by the official ceremony at 11.30am. The official ceremony will begin with a Welcome to Country, addresses by our Mayor, Federal Member for Lyne, State Member for Myall Lakes, Australia Day Ambassador, Citizenship Ceremony and local Australia Day Awards.

Australia Day Ambassador


The 2018 Australia Day Ambassador for the Great Lakes is Greg Donovan.

Greg was born in 1961 and is a long time Warringah resident living in Allambie where he built a home for his family in 1989. He is married to Raylene and has 3 grown children, Laura, Matt and Stephen.

Greg has always enjoyed endurance sports, and after racing motocross in his youth, changed to off road enduro riding, where he rode in the International Six Days Enduro earning a sliver medal, as well as participating in many Australian based enduro competitions.

He has participated in many types of endurance sports including long distance kayaking, running and cycling, with many events completed for fundraising.

Greg ran to keep fit for his motorcycle racing, and developed a passion for running, competing in many short events, with the dream of one day completing a marathon. After many problems in both his knees which were eventually fixed through surgery, he was finally able to run longer distances and completed many marathons with a best time of 2.49. He continues to be a regular marathon and ultra marathon runner, and has no plans of easing off. His favourite saying is “the race is not always to the swift but to those who keep running”

A highlight of his running career came in 2002 when he ran in the New York Marathon and raised over $150,000 for the education of children of his employer Aon, whose parents were killed in the World Trade Centre attacks of 2001.

In 2008 Greg’s son Stephen, who was 14 at the time, was diagnosed with both Type 1 diabetes and Coeliac disease at the same time, which was devastating to Stephen and his family.

Greg dedicated himself to doing something to raise funds to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes, and with his past experience in running and fundraising, in 2012 he founded the Born to Run Foundation to achieve this goal.

He then put together a 5 person running team, dubbed Team Born to Run, which included himself and his oldest son Matthew. The team tackled the gruelling 4 deserts running series, which involves running 250km across each of 4 of the most forbidding deserts in the world, with the series finishing in Antarctica. The 4 deserts series is rated by Time Magazine alongside Tour de France and Dakar Rally as one of the top 10 most challenging endurance events on the planet. Only 11 people have managed to achieve this feat, and the 5 person Born to Run Team is the first team to complete the 4 Desert Grand Slam, and also contains both the youngest and oldest person to achieve this feat as well as the first father and son, the first couple and first type 1 diabetic. Greg says that by literally going to all ends of the earth to bring awareness and raise funds he hopes he can inspire others to do more to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

Realising the life changing affects of running 250km across deserts Greg has introduced this form of running sport to Australia by establishing the Big Red Run, an annual week long running event based out of Birdsville in the Simpson Desert, allowing Australians the ability to enjoy this unique experience and raise funds for Type 1 diabetes research, as well as drawing in people from around the world to enjoy the Australian outback. In July 2013 Greg ran 250km in this event with his son Stephen who has Type 1, and this inaugural event raised over $160,000 for Type 1 diabetes research, and after 3 years has now raised close to $600,000 for JDRF.

Since then Greg has also founded the Anzac Day Challenge, Sydney’s only 100km Trail Ultra event that in its first year in 2015 raised  over $120,000 for Soldier On and Mates 4 Mates.  He also founded Australia’s most remote music festival the Birdsville Big Red Bash, which in 2015 saw over 3,000 people rocking the Simpson Desert.

Greg has ambitions to continue to build the newly formed Born to Run Foundation to not only continue to raise funds and awareness to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes, but also provide services to assist people with diabetes improve their lives and deal with their illness through fitness and exercise.

Australia Day Questionnaire

Why are you an Australia Day Ambassador?

For raising funds and awareness of Type one diabetes , founder of Born to Run Foundation and Big Red Run Australia’s only desert running race. 

Who is your favourite Australian sing/band and favourite song, and why?

Cold Chisel – Working Class Man – Classically Australian! 

If you could be a super hero, what power would you choose?

To be able to fly like a bird.


11am - 11.30am - Morning tea

11.30am - Official Ceremony

  • Opening
  • Welcome to Country
  • Welcome by Mayor David West
  • Address by Federal Member for Lyne - Dr David Gillespie MP 
  • Address by State Member for Myall Lakes - Stephen Bromhead MP
  • Address by Australia Day Ambassador Greg Donovan
  • Citizenship Ceremony - National Anthem - Great Lakes Band
  • Presentation of Australia Day Awards - Citizen of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year
  • Close 

Celebrations around the Great Lakes region

Australia Day will be celebrated across the Great Lakes in various locations. (See poster attached for further details on these Great Lakes celebrations)

  • Main Beach Forster - 7.30am bbq breakfast at Forster Surf Club, followed by flag raising at Pilot Hill - cost $10 person
  • Club Forster Family fun day - 11am to 2pm - entertainment, free sample bags for kids, free sausage sizzle, free face painting, free fairy floss, free jumping castle, free family games and competitions
  • Moira Parade, Hawks Nest - 8am breakfast - 9am ceremony including flag raising, presentation of local awards, children's games and races, music all day, display by Myall Coast Historical Society
  • Sporties, Tuncurry - from 4pm - Aussie music and free sausage sizzle
  • Bulahdelah Court House - 5.30pm sausage sizzle, bush poetry, Australian trivia, live music, talks & slideshow on early history of the area and short local films
  • Coomba Fest, Coomba Foreshore - 9am breakfast, 10am ceremony, 11am presentations, fun races and activities to keep the whole family entertained, food and drink, live music
  • John Wright Park, Tuncurry - 9am - 2pm - Australia Day Festival - family friendly event, classic, vintage and custom cars, hot rods, motorbikes, DONKS stationary engines, food and drink.
  • Great Lakes Winery - from 12.30pm - 4pm - listen to some great music and sample delicious wine. Family friendly.

Manning Region

The 2018 Manning celebrations will be held at the Manning Entertainment Centre on Friday 26 January.

The day will begin outside at 7:30am with a free breakfast (sausages, egg and bacon sandwiches, juices and tea and coffee) prepared by our local Service Clubs and entertainment featuring Manning Valley Concert Band and Sarah Murphy.  Free tattoos and flags will be available for the children.

The official ceremony will begin inside the comfort of the Manning Entertainment Centre at 9am with a didgeridoo performance, Welcome to Country, flag placement, addresses by our Mayor, State Member for Myall Lakes, High School leaders, local Ambassador, Citizenship Ceremony, National Anthem and presentation of local Australia Day Awards.  

The ceremony will conclude by 10am and will be followed by a morning tea in the foyer served by our local service clubs.

Australia Day Ambassador


The 2018 Australia Day Ambassador for the Manning is Maurie Stack OAM.

Maurie Stack is the son of ER Stack who commenced legal practice in Wingham in 1931. Maurie has practised as a lawyer in Taree since 1970 with his brothers Ray and Tim and is the chair of Stacks Law Group which provides services to the many offices of Stacks Law Firm throughout NSW and Queensland.

Maurie was a member of the Council of the Law Society of NSW for 9 years from 1987 and was a member of numerous committees including the Personal Injury Committee which he chaired for many years. Maurie was elected President of the Law Society of NSW in 1995.

Maurie has represented the legal profession of NSW on numerous committees including the Supreme Court Delay Reduction Committee, the District Court Rules Committee and the Transcover Review Committee whose recommendations led to the restoration of the right to sue for motor accident victims. He also chaired for years the Common Law Rights Committee of the Law Council of Australia. For 5 years from 1997 he was a Councillor of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.

Prior to the Law Society, Maurie was an Alderman of the Greater Taree City Council for 7 years from 1980 and served on numerous Council committees. He was a member of the committee for a local cultural centre for 15 years culminating in the obtaining of a $500,000 Bicentennial Grant in 1986 and successfully moving that the Council fund $1 million towards the building of the shell of the Manning Entertainment Centre. Maurie then chaired the fundraising committee which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit the MEC. In 2008 he chaired the committee which raised $750,000 in community funding and grants to add a fly tower to the MEC.

Maurie has been a member of the board of the Manning Base Hospital, inaugural chairman of the Manning Valley Tourist Association, President of Taree Apex Club, President of the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning, 2015/16 Governor of Rotary District 9650 and is the incoming District Chair of the Rotary Foundation.

In 2002 Maurie was awarded the OAM for services to the law, local government and the community. He is the husband of Deidre, father of Louise, Fiona, Tammy and Ben and grandfather of Callum, Lucas & Hamish Webster, Louis & Jack Wilson and Julian, Toby & Edward Stack.


7.30am - 8.50am - Free breakfast thanks to Combined Service Clubs in conjunction with MidCoast Council.

7.25am - 8.05am - Entertainment by the Manning Valley Concert Band

8.05am - 8.45am - Entertainment by Sarah Murphy

9am - 10am - Official Ceremony inside the Manning Entertainment Centre

  • Didgeridoo performance by Pastor Russell Saunders OAM
  • Welcome to Country by Pastor Russell Saunders OAM of the Biripi Nation
  • Flag placement - Mayor David West and Pastor Russell Saunders OAM
  • Welcome by Mayor David West
  • Address by State Member for Myall Lakes - Stephen Bromhead MP
  • Young Speaker's Address by St Clare's High School leaders - Ruby McIntosh, Macabe Grass, Jennifer Wesley and Rhys Hood
  • Citizenship Ceremony
  • Public Affirmation Ceremony
  • National Anthem led by Sarah Murphy
  • Address by Australia Day Ambassador Maurie Stack OAM
  • Presentation of Australia Day Awards - Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year and Ken McDonald Memorial Sportstar of the Year

Join us for morning tea served by our Combined Service Clubs in the foyer at the conclusion of the ceremony. 

Celebrations around the Manning Valley

Australia Day will be celebrated across the Manning Valley in various locations all with flag raising, formal ceremonies and presentation local awards.

  • Black Head Beach - 7am-9am free breakfast, 7.45am ceremony including presentation of local awards
  • Harrington Memorial Hall - 7.45am free breakfast, 8.45am ceremony including presentation of local awards
  • Wingham Central Park - 7.30am free breakfast, 8am ceremony including presentation of local awards