Bass Coast,

Celebrate Australia Day In Bass Coast

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

Australia Day celebrations take place across the Shire on Monday, 26 January.

Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said 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 8.00am with a free breakfast and a welcome by Don O’Leary from the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi,” Cr Brown said.

“There will also be a citizenship ceremony, Rotary Awards and an address by Australia Day Ambassador, Bill Noonan OAM.

"The Cowes event starts at 9.30am and includes a traditional smoking ceremony by Steve Parker representing the Boonwurrung people, free sausage sizzle and childrens activities.

“There will also be Rotary Awards and an address by Australia Day Ambassador, Jason Yeap OAM."

Cr Brown encouraged residents and visitors to attend their local Australia Day event and celebrate their community and country.

“This is the biggest day of celebration in our country, when we will come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian,” Cr Brown said.

“It’s a day for us to recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future.”

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


Bill Noonan OAM is a former Commissioner of the National Transport Commission and Chair of the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation.

His desire to improve the lives of people and assist the community has not diminished after 47 years in the transport industry.

Starting out as a truck driver with the Caltex Oil Company in 1964, his talent for connecting with people, understanding their problems and implementing action, was quickly recognised.

After just six years in the industry he was elected to the Transport Workers Union Branch Committee of Management.

Highly committed to his own fitness and health, he is a former president and now life member of the Victorian Road Runners Club. Mr Noonan is also a member of the National Male Health Reference Group and a Director of the Institute for Breathing and Sleep.

At 71 years of age he remains very physically active and has run 24 marathons and numerous fun runs.

Bill received an OAM in 2006 for service to the Road Transport Industry, particularly in Road Safety and the Trade Union Movement.

Jason Yeap OAM is a Malaysian-born property developer, lawyer and philanthropist who came to Melbourne to study in the 1970s.

Graduating with a double degree in science and law from Monash University, he began his career as a practicing lawyer before making the career switch to property development in 1997, founding several property and investment companies.

An influential player in Melbourne’s business and art scenes, Jason was appointed a trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in June 2005 and reappointed in 2008 and 2011.

He was made Chairman of the NGV Foundation in 2012 and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2010 for service to the arts, particularly through the NGV and to the community.

Jason was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the largest research institute for children in Australia.

He is also a Board member for The University of Melbourne – I Believe Campaign – that aims to raise $500 million by 2017, one of the largest fundraising campaigns in Australia to date.

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.

Ambassadors participate in local activities, deliver a short speech on what being Australian means to them and all share the common traits of achievement through hard work, talent, and a strong sense of patriotism.