Celebrate Australia Day in the park

Yvonne Murray, Vic Groenhout and Rob Cumming are among the members of Castlemaine Highland Pipe Band getting set for Tuesday's Australia Day - Survival Day free community celebrations in Castlemaine's Victory Park. Photo: Eve Lamb

Castlemaine’s Highland Pipe Band members are tuning up for Tuesday’s special celebrations to mark Australia Day – Survival Day in Castlemaine’s Victory Park.
When the free Mount Alexander Shire community event fires up from 10 am, the band will be opening proceedings with a 10 minute set including some classic favs.
As a CovidSafe event, registration is required to attend with tickets available online at bit.ly/MtAlexBoxOffice or at the Visitor Information Centre in Mostyn Street.
“It will be our second only public outing since we started practicing together again in November,” the band’s Pipe Major Vic Groenhout says, noting that Covid meant the band forwent group practice for about eight months last year.
Fortunately, their usual Wednesday evening practice sessions at the botanical gardens band room have resumed and now they’re not the only ones preparing for what promises a great day out.
Local Indigenous elder Uncle Rick Nelson will also be having an early start on Tuesday as he prepares to perform a traditional smoking ceremony at 6am on the summit of Leanganook – Mount Alexander.
The early morning smoking ceremony will be live-streamed, while Mount Alexander is inviting everyone to waste no time in registering to enjoy the free Victory Park program to run 10am to 12 noon.
It’s a chance to be the first to see the winners of the shire’s Australia Day awards and welcome the newest local Australian citizens in a special citizenship ceremony. 
The family-friendly event will also feature a Welcome to Country and a BBQ lunch by the Rotary Club of Castlemaine. 
“It’s a day to reflect on our nation’s history which began with the First Australians tens of thousands of years ago, and to respect and share the stories, histories and contributions of all Australians,” mayor Cr Tony Cordy said.

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.