Australia Day 2020 a chance to heal on Kangaroo Island

Australia Day 2020 on bushfire ravaged Kangaroo Island was a chance for the community to get together and recognise what makes the community special.

The Australian Defence Force played a big role in the celebrations, raising flags, cooking barbecues and getting involved in various sporting activities.

There were cricket matches at the Parndana and Western Districts ovals, while there was also a mixed netball match at the Kingscote courts between local players and the ADF members.

There were other Australia Day activities around the Island at Emu Bay and American River.

On Friday, members of the New Zealand Defence Force conducted a ceremony at the Penneshaw War Memorial handing over a new flag and performing the haka.

The Kangaroo Island Council held its official Australia Day ceremony on Sunday at the Hope Cottage National Trust Museum in Kingscote.

Mayor Michael Pengilly gave a moving speech about the bushfires and path ahead to recovery while Colonel Don Hogben gave an overview of the ADF involvement in Operation Bushfire Assist.

New Australian citizens Nonhlanhla (Jeanette) Nkonjane Holden, Julie Saunders, Alexandra Smith, Kieran Wood and Lisa Wood took the oath and received their certificates.

American River resident Jane Guider was named 2020 Kangaroo Island Citizen of the Year.

For more than 30 years, many Kangaroo Island charities, organisations, clubs and individuals have benefitted from Jane's committed voluntary service.

She has been the driving force behind the American River Community Sports Association which plays a key role in the community.

She and her husband organize the Anzac Day service at American River, and Jane provides the Gunfire breakfast.

She was a founding member of the KI Cancer Group, and among other things, works with the Vietnam Veterans' Association. She is always too busy, but never to busy to help.

The 2020 Project of the Year is the Kingscote Skate and Youth Park - 30 years in the planning, Kingscote now has a well designed skate park which is very popular with the youth.

It provides a place for young people who aren't usually interested in traditional team sports, to connect, make friends and be together. It was made possible by generous community donations and a Council and State Government grants.

The 2020 Event of the Year is the Stokes Bay Fireworks - the fireworks have been on the community calendar for the past 30 years.

In 2019, it was a special occasion marking the 30 year anniversary of the fireworks and the celebratory opening of the newly upgraded Stokes Bay Hall, which sadly, was destroyed in the bushfires.

Mayor Pengilly also named and congratulated this year's Community Partnership Grant recipients:

  • Kangaroo Island RSL - Restoration of Penneshaw WW1 Honour Board
  • National Trust of SA KI Branch - Hope Cottage Museum Wagon Shed Paving
  • Kangaroo Island Clisthenics Club - Treasurer's Laptop
  • Health Advisory Council - Cook Centre Heritage Sign
  • KI Artfeast - Youth BollArt Project
  • Penneshaw Progress Association - Penguin Signs
  • Women's Support Group - Glass Cutting Saw
  • Artists' Collective - Easter Art Exhibition
  • Junction Australia - Community Directory
This story Australia Day 2020 a chance to heal on Kangaroo Island first appeared on The Islander.