Bass Coast,

Celebrate Australia Day 2014


Bass Coast Shire Council invites residents and visitors to celebrate Australia Day at one of the two events on 26 January, where they will hear from our Ambassadors, celebrate with our new citizens and can enjoy a snag on the barbie, among many other activities.

An acclaimed Australian journalist and a father dedicated to contributing to better outcomes for people with disabilities are Bass Coast Shire’s Australia Day Ambassadors this year.

Journalist, George Donikian, is the ambassador for the Wonthaggi celebrations, while Chairman of Yooralla, Dr Peter Langkamp, is the ambassador for the Cowes event.

Australia Day Activities

Australia Day celebrations take place across the Shire on Sunday, 26 January 2014. Local Rotary Clubs will host celebrations held at the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre in Graham Street and at the Cowes Town Square in Thompson Avenue.

The Wonthaggi event starts at 7.30am with a free breakfast and will culminate in the announcement and presentation of the 2014 Bass Coast Australia Day Awards. There will also be a citizenship ceremony, Rotary Awards and an address by Australia Day Ambassador, Mr Donikian.

The Cowes event starts at 9.30am and includes a traditional smoking ceremony by Steve Parker representing the Boonwurrung people, free sausage sizzle, childrens activities, Council’s Australia Day Awards and citizenship ceremony, Rotary Awards and an address by Australia Day Ambassador, Dr Langkamp.

For the times and details for other Australia Day events happening across Bass Coast, visit the Calendar of Events at


Born and raised in Sydney, Mr Donikian’s media career started in radio in Queensland in 1977. His television career began in 1980, when he became the face of multiculturalism on what was to become Australia’s revolutionary Channel 0 – later evolving into SBS. Mr Donikian later went on to work with Graham Kennedy, feature on Wide World of Sports, present Ten News and cover many significant sporting events including the Sydney Olympics.

As the father of a child with a disability, Dr Langkamp is passionate about understanding the disability sector and is committed to Yooralla and the endorsement of DisabilityCare. Dr Langkamp has had a long and successful career in the corporate world, currently the CEO of Callista Software Services, and conceived and launched Australia’s largest loyalty program, FlyBuys, in 1995.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program, proudly sponsored by Woolworths, is co-ordinated by the Australia Day Committee of Victoria. The program provides a unique opportunity for Victorians to meet inspirational Australian achievers.

On Australia Day, Ambassadors go to more than 150 communities across the state to spread the message of national pride at various celebrations. Ambassadors participate in local activities, assist with the presentation of local awards and deliver a short speech on what being Australian means to them.

Ambassadors are recruited from diverse fields such as the arts, sport, science, business, government and entertainment. They can be of any age, but they all share the common traits of achievement through hard work, talent, and a strong sense of patriotism. All act in an honorary capacity, freely giving their time to help celebrate our National Day.