Australia Day absence defended

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

Shire of Denmark president Ceinwen Gearon were unable to attend the council’s Australia Day celebrations last Friday due to Family Commitment.

Cr Gearon was a notable absence from the ceremonies and breakfast on Australia Day, one of the local government’s largest annual events.

She told The Extra she could not attend because of family reasons, not because of any boycott of Australia Day, which had been suggested by some locals on social media.

“Australia Day is a very important day and I fully support the idea that we should celebrate those outstanding communities’ achievements and recognise its citizens,” she said.

“Unfortunately, life does get away from my civic duty and that is unfortunate.”

In her absence, Denmark Shire chief executive Bill Parker fulfilled the role of master of ceremonies for the occasion.

“People are unavailable for a range of different reasons and we have to respect that,” he said.

“We move on and we deliver the event and it was successful.

“We got beautiful weather and our community seems very happy with it.

“As a result, we raised in excess of $1300 for Royal Flying Doctor Service through the donations that people made on the day.”

Mr Parker said he had been fully aware the Shire president was not available for Australia Day and was happy to step up on the occasion.

“It was just part of being a team,” he said.

A handful of Denmark citizens received awards on the day including Erica Mercer, Elsie Edmonds, and Diane Harwood.

More than 700 people attended the Australia Day event in Denmark.

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