The Premier’s Western Sydney Australia Day Community Reception was held on Friday 26 January 2018 at Bowman Hall, Blacktown.
The event was attended by a number of ministers, members of parliament, community leaders, aboriginal elders and performers as well as a number of Australia Day awardees.
The event started with welcome in English as well as in an Aboriginal language followed by a sad song “Generational Scars” by Jacinta Tobin relating to Aboriginal stolen generations, scarring, broken hearts and quest for healing, love and peace.
A comprehensive performance was given by Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe that included dancing with the politicians and painting of their bodies symbolising community healing.
The Premier pointed out that NSW candidates had taken out top honours in the 2018 Australian of the Year Awards, with world-renowned physicist Michelle Simmons named Australian of the Year and mathematics teacher Eddie Woo as 2018 Australia’s Local Hero.
Special guests at the event also included 2018 Senior Australian Citizen of the Year, Dr Graham Farquhar and Samantha Kerr, 2018 Young Australian of the Year.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the national awards were well-deserved recognition for two of the State’s most passionate advocates for science and mathematics.
“Professor Simmons has long been highly regarded in the scientific community and now her pioneering achievements will be celebrated by all Australians,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Cherrybrook Technology High School head mathematics teacher and Youtube star Eddie Woo had received awards for his leadership in education and dynamic presence in the classroom, which has seen his “Wootube” internet videos attract more than 10 million views worldwide.
“These wins are going to raise the profile of the importance of science and teaching in communities across Australia and inspire young people to consider careers in these fields,” Ms Berejiklian said.