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With these words Cowra’s Australia Day ambassador Cheryl Koenig congratulated Cowra’s Australia Day committee on organising Thursday’s Citizen of the Year award’s ceremony.
Ms Koenig was obviously impressed with Cowra, asking the mayor, Cr Bill West, if Cowra had room for three more residents after the reception she had since arriving on Wednesday.
Talking of the Australia Day theme this year of ”Everyone Everywhere”, she said the theme encouraged us all to celebrate Australia Day in a way which best reflects our connection with the land.
“Being here today, in this most beautiful part of NSW gives me an authentic feeling and a connection to real Australians,” Ms Koenig said.
“Despite our harsh climates where we alternate from floods and cyclones and heatwaves and bush fires, Australia is still good to us.
“No where do feel that sense of community, that willingness of people to give of themselves without counting the cost in time or otherwise than in places just like Cowra.
“To me the most significant thing to be thankful for on Australia Day is definitely the people.
“If you asked anywhere here what being an Australian means you’d get very similar answers.
“You don’t have to look for to see that true Aussie spirit, that willingness to pitch in and help others less fortunate and our great way of adapting to circumstances.
“I like to think that whether we are Indigenous Australians, whether we are born here or whether we have adopted this great land we all share a sense of mate ship, laconic sense of humour and an adventurous spirit.”
She then spoke of her son’s sheer determination and persistence and his recovery from being hit by a car which left him in a coma fighting for life “trapped inside a broken mind and a battered body”.
Ms Koenig said she was passionate about raising community awareness about brain injury. as it is essential in facilitating change.
“Change won’t occur if we don’t have an awareness,” Ms Koenig said.
“So what is our message as a family,” Ms Koenig said.
“With the right combination of persistence, determination, family and love anything is possible in this great country.
“Us Aussies never give in and we never ever give up.
“There is no greater reward than knowing you are making a difference to someone in need.
“The best gift you can give yourself is to give to someone else.
“I used to think it was the big events that define history, but I’ve learned it is not, it is the people,” Ms Koenig said on Thursday.
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