10 May 2023

Bowls, golf, donuts and awards for Australia Day

| Matt Nicholls
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Seisia’s Talei Elu is in line to win the Young Australian of the Year award.

WEIPA’S Citizen of the Year will be announced on Wednesday night as part of a change-up to Australia Day festivities in the community.

“We’ve decided to try something a bit different,” said Weipa Town Authority chair Michael Rowland.

“Previously, the crowds have been down on Australia Day and there’s a shift away from having events (on January 26).

“This year we’ve decided to do a formal dinner and acknowledge the citizens and events who have made Weipa a great place to live.”

While the WTA is not putting on formalities on Thursday, there won’t be a shortage of things to do.

Pebbles Playgroup is cooking up donuts to raise funds, complemented by the coffee van.

The Weipa Bowls Club has a massive social bowls event planned, with more than $1000 in prizes up for grabs.

At the Carpentaria Golf Club, a social ambrose event will also be staged for members and the general public.

Cooktown will stick to tradition with its Citizen of the Year Awards on Thursday.

Cook Shire will kick off proceedings at 9am at the Cooktown Shire Hall with a ceremony to announce the shire’s award winners. A council spokeswoman said a record number of nominations had been received, with nominees from Cooktown, Lakeland, Laura, Rossville and Bloomfield.

The event also includes a speech from Australia Day Ambassador and mental health advocate Dr Tahnee Bridson and a free CWA morning tea.

● SEISIA resident Talei Elu will find out on Wednesday night if she is crowned the Young Australian of the Year.

She told the ABC that she was humbled to be acknowledged among a list of top young achievers in the nation.

Ms Elu was chosen as the Queensland Young Australian of the Year for her advocacy work in enrolling Indigenous residents in the NPA, fighting for better telecommunications and for organising local beach clean-ups.

“I felt just so honoured to be there,” she said. “Hearing my name called was just surreal.”

Ms Elu has been working with the AEC to enrol more Indigenous people and educate them about the importance of voting.

“There’s a lot of issues affecting us,” she said.

“It’s important that we understand how the political system works, so it can benefit us.”

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