Record crowds come together to celebrate Australia Day

Monday, 29 January 2018 

About 40,000 people joined together to celebrate Australia Day at the City of Bunbury SkyFest Australia Day Celebrations event on Friday 26 January.

The event which was held in Bicentennial Square and at the Graham Bricknell Music Shell drew its largest crowd since the event’s inception for the annual celebrations. It was also a boon for local business with the CBD noticeably busier over the long-weekend.

Revellers enjoyed a hearty breakfast cooked by the Bunbury-Koombana Apex Club which kicked off from 6.30am while others set off for a 5km or 10km run around the Leschenault Inlet for the annual Bunbury Runners Club Australia Day Fun Run.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan welcomed 38 new Australian citizens from 10 different countries during the Citizenship Ceremony where he also awarded the recipients of the Australia Day Citizenship Awards.

These awards recognise and acknowledge the hard work carried out by volunteers in our community and are nominated by the community. This year’s recipients were as follows:

Citizen of the Year: Helen Robinson

Young Citizen of the Year: Samantha Russell

Community Group of the Year: Morrissey Homestead Incorporated

Wilcox Brown Award: Bunbury-Koombana Apex Club

Mayor Brennan said it was an honour to present the awards as well as welcome new citizens on the day.

“It is a very emotional experience for those who become citizens and I see how proud they are to pledge allegiance to our nation and way of life,” Mayor Brennan said.

“The recipients of this year’s Citizenship Awards were well deserving and should be commended for the selfless work they do in enhancing our wonderful city and community.”

Following the morning’s events thousands attended the evening’s celebrations which included the family concert, market square, food trucks, sideshow alley, a host of free activities and the fireworks spectacular which is the biggest pyrotechnics display outside of Perth.

Attendance was up on previous years and Mayor Brennan said not only was it great to see the community come together but the event provided economic benefits to the city. Local eateries were jam-packed with diners from Friday early morning and accommodation providers welcomed visitors for the long weekend with Bunbury caravan parks reporting full occupancy

“Australia Day celebrates our diversity and gives the community a chance to celebrate what it means to live in this fantastic country of ours,” Mayor Brennan said.

“It presents a time to reflect on how lucky we are to call this paradise home.

“It was pleasing to see the CBD was a hub of activity right across the long weekend with visitors enjoying all that Bunbury has to offer.”

As well as Skyfest, Bunbury played host to the Little Athletics Country Championships and welcomed luxury cruise ship the Azamara Journey and its 690 passengers and 400 staff to the city over the weekend.

For a full list of summer events happening in Bunbury visit