A citizenship ceremony added another dimension to this year's Australia Day breakfast and awards ceremony at York.

The traditional gathering was held in Avon Park. About 360 breakfasts were served by the York Men's Shed and York Volunteer Workers from 7.30 am with the presentation of awards at 9.00am.

It was the first ceremony for York's recently elected Shire president, Cr Matthew Reid. In his address, Cr Reid said Australia Day, was the celebration of a significant milestone for all Australians and the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship.

"On this day in 1949, Australian citizenship legislation automatically delivered citizenship to the majority of Australia’s population.  "It introduced a unique national identity for Australians. "A week later, the first Australian citizenship ceremony was held at the Albert Hall in Canberra," he said.

 "Since then, more than 4.5 million people from across the globe have followed in their footsteps.  "Many thousands more will join them and become citizens at ceremonies around Australia today, Cr Reid said.

The 2014 awards presentation started with flag raising by York District High School head boy, Daniel Faulkner, and head girl Amber Goward-Bell and the national anthem lead by the Nice 'N' Easy singers.

There were seven nominees for Citizen of the Year, Margaret Collins, Janny Harris, Patricia McGregor, Yvonne Dols, Karen Henderson, Julie Rae and Lynda Lowe. The winner was Pat McGregor for her lifelong contribution to a number of local groups and organizations including the netball, badminton, pony and croquet  clubs, scouts, landcare district committee, meals on wheels and wildflower society to name some.

The two nominees for Junior Citizen of the Year, Rachael Mason and Emily Sherry shared the award. Rachel was nominated by the York Society for her work in documenting through photography, more than 2,000 graves in the York cemetery. Her involvement in a number of other community and personal pursuits were also recognized.

Last year's head girl, Emily Sherry, was nominated by York District High School for her leadership capabilities, level of maturity and being an outstanding role model who showed well developed interpersonal skills and proficiency as a communicator. She was also a keen participant in sporting and cultural activities at school and in the community.

There were two nominees for the Bendigo Bank Senior Sport Star of the Year, Tom Atkinson (football) and Marjorie Boultbee (hockey) who received the award. Junior Sport Star of the Year nominees were Daniel Khan (swimming) and Chloe Fleay (hockey) who won the award.

There were two nominations for Community Group of the Year. They were the York Community Resource Centre and the York Art and Craft Awards which won the award.

Five people received Australian citizenship at a ceremony conducted by Cr Reid after the Australia Day awards' presentation. Those to receive citizenship were Justin, Sally and Jake Baxter along with Benilda Almoradie and Vanessa Serrano.

The Shire of York hosted a morning tea at the York Recreation and Convention Centre for new citizens, award winners and their families.

Lindsay McNeill

RIGHT (from top): After the citizenship ceremony conducted in York on Australlia Day (L-R) Benilda Almoradie, Vanessa Serrano,Justin Baxter, Director of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Ian Munro, Jake and Sally Baxter with Shire president, Matthew Reid.

Below: Many of the winners of Australia Day awards

Bottom: Sad to miss receiving her award in person, Citizen of the Year Pat McGregor, celebrates in hospital in Perth with husband, Bruce, and grandchildren Liam and Emma Cowley.