Stawell region Australia Day celebrations

REGION - Northern Grampians Shire Council has confirmed its Australia Day ambassadors for 2014.

Harold Mitchell AC, Executive Chairman Aegis Media Australia and New Zealand, will be the special guest at Australia Day celebrations in Stawell, while Charity Founder and 2009 Victorian Australian of the Year Finalist Rachel Porter will visit St Arnaud.

Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin said the shire was looking forward to hosting the high achieving guests.

"We are delighted to have two wonderful representatives attending our Australia Day celebrations again this year," he said.

"The ambassador program has been proudly sponsored by Woolworths since 2001 and gives our local residents a fantastic opportunity to meet inspirational Australian achievers and hear their stories."

Mr Mitchell is the founder of Mitchell and Partners which has evolved to become the largest media and communications group in Australia.

In December 2000, he launched the Harold Mitchell Foundation which distributes funds between health and the arts.

Mr Mitchell holds a large number of community roles and was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 for his services as a benefactor and fundraiser in support of artistic and cultural endeavour.

Rachel Porter established a charity for pregnancy loss grief counselling, support and education after losing her first two sons.

The charity assists with vital medical research and has helped thousands of families throughout Australia.

As a spokesperson for pregnancy loss issues in Australia and abroad, Ms Porter has been instrumental in the change in public awareness of pregnancy loss, a subject that is often not talked about. She has also written a highly successful book about pregnancy loss, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to charity.

St Arnaud's Australia Day Service will commence with a barbecue breakfast in Market Square at 8am.

This will be followed by a flag raising ceremony at 9.30am, an address from Ms Rachel Porter and the presentation of Australia Day Awards.

Stawell's Australia Day celebrations will be held at Cato Park from 5.30pm. The official ceremony will include an address by Mr Harold Mitchell, the presentation of Australia Day Awards and a performance by the Stawell Brass Band.

A barbecue will follow at 6.30pm. Community members should bring their own chair to both events.

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