It was a sweltering day in Camden but that didn’t stop thousands of locals from flooding Argyle Street to celebrate Australia Day.
The day started with a civic ceremony to welcome the region’s 40 newest citizens from 30 nationalities and award some worthy Camden locals for their service to the community.
Camden mayor Peter Sidgreaves spoke about the importance of this year’s celebrations.
“Citizenship ceremonies are always important but today is particularly significant,” he said.
“The first citizenship ceremony was held on January 26, 1949.
“Seventy years later we are continuing the tradition as one of most successful multicultural nations in the world.
“This year we are celebrating the diversity of citizens, the values we share and the history we are creating together”
Cr Sidgreaves said Australia Day was a chance to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet and the things that make Australia great.
”Whether you are new here or if you’ve been here for generations, the one thing we all have in common is our love for Australia and the community we live in,” he said.
“We truly live in the best country on Earth.”
Camden MP Chris Patterson said it was wonderful to be a part of Camden’s official Australia Day celebrations for the last time as a member of parliament.
“I just want to say how wonderful it is to be here on day that brings all Australians together,” he said.
“I have mixed emotions as it is my 19th and last official Australia Day civic ceremony – and it really is a wonderful honour to share in this great day in an official capacity.
“I want to acknowledge the groups and individuals who make this community what it is and such a wonderful place to live.”
Camden Australia Day ambassador and former champion swimmer Susie Maroney said she was grateful she wasn’t asked to swim to the Camden ceremony this year.
She said her international swimming feats made her realise what it meant to be Australian.
“I came to realise it was not just me swimming in the race, I was swimming for Australia and what it meant to be Australian,” she said.
“It’s not just about calling Australia home, it’s acknowledging our history, values and sense pf pride.
“We have a great country – how lucky we are to be here.”
Thousands of people then lined Camden’s main street to watch the annual Macarthur Lions Street parade.
The parade featured a range of floats, community groups and local bands.
Residents also took part in family friendly activities including thong throwing, cork hat making and more on John Street.