Australia Day at the Farm

Australia Day 2016.jpg

Australia Day 2016 Survey 

Thank you to everyone who attended Australia Day at the Farm. The event was a huge success with a grand total of 13,000 people attending the event! We can't wait to make 2017's Australia Day at the Farm even better. To help us do this please complete the short survey below and let us know what you loved about 2016's event and what you'd like to see in 2017.

Australia Day at the Farm

More than 13, 000 people flocked to Bella Vista Farm as part of the Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day celebrations on Tuesday 26 January. Attendees soaked up the sun while enjoying the great activities, amusement rides, free entertainment, delicious eats and picturesque grounds of the historic farm.

The farm took on an Old Sydney Town feel for the Australia Day celebrations, with historical displays and Devonshire Tea at the Homestead and roaming convicts captivating audiences with their vibrant impersonations of the farm’s first inhabitants and, for the less fortunate, capturing audiences in the convict stocks!

Community spirit was the focus at the Citizenship and Australia Day Awards ceremonies which kicked off the day’s festivities. 26 individuals received Australian Citizenship while the Australia Day Awards recognised the valuable community contributions of both individuals and groups to the Hills community and included an address from the Hills Shire Australia Day Ambassador Don Burke OAM.

The Hills community stage continued the celebration of community into the afternoon with outstanding performances from local music and dance schools as well as community groups and organisations.

MC actor and performer Scott McRae led audiences through the afternoon’s outstanding dance and musical displays with his vibrant personality and host of performance skills- even taking to the Main Stage later in the evening to sing for delighted crowds.

Along with the performances on the community stage, event goers were wowed by the whip cracking, working dog and sheep shearing displays from Tobruk Sheep Station as well as blacksmithing and art displays.

Australia Day at the Farm proved a great day out for kids, with children loving the Alice Paints the Roses Red Show and hat making workshop, pop up library, kindi farm, yard games and wide array of amusement rides to suit all ages.

Revellers got in early to set up picnic rugs and chairs ahead of the evenings Main Stage performance, securing the best seats in the house to see David Campbell, Christine Anu, Emma Pask, Darren Pervical and band deliver swing, jazz and rock favourites which added to the festive atmosphere of the event.

The Main Stage celebrations finished with a bang as the spectacular fireworks display lit up the sky captivating young and old alike.

Although Australia Day celebrations are over for another year, there are more great community events to come in 2016 starting with Lunar Festival at North Rocks Park on 13 February. For more information on Lunar Festival or to see pictures from Australia Day at the Farm head to the Sydney Hills Events Facebook page.

 David Campbell   Fireworks   Roving Convicts   Main Stage 
 Friends of the Farm  Kindi Farm  Christine Anu  Australia Day

 Worthy award winners celebrated at Australia Day at the Farm

The Australia Day Awards are run by local governments across Australia. The Awards recognise community service at a local level and are administered through a nomination program, which is assessed by a local selection committee and/or councillors.

The 2016 Australia Day Awards ceremony was held at Bella Vista Farm as part of The Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day celebrations.

Mayor of the Hills Shire Dr Michelle Byrne said the Awards are a great way to encourage those who sacrifice time and effort for their local community.

“The Hills Shire is very lucky to have a high level of community participation in volunteer programs and events. We are also lucky to have individuals and groups within our council that go above and beyond the works that organised groups perform to help one another in their own time often using their own resources,” Mayor Byrne said.

“The Australia Day Awards program gives council a public opportunity to recognise the efforts of outstanding individuals who have contributed to making the Hills Shire the wonderful place to live that it is.”

This year’s Australia Day Awards were awarded across five categories; Young Citizen of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year, Community Project of the Year-Excellence in Community and Community Project of the Year-Social Enterprise Awards.

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Donna Fraser who received the award for her outstanding and continued service to the Hills Shire community since moving to the area in 1983. Since then she has been a member of the Sydney Hills Zonta Club where she has held executive positions such as vice president, secretary and treasurer. Donna has also been the club representative on the Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Network and Hills Multicultural Network and most recently she has been elected as the District 24 (NSW/ACT) treasurer for the period 2016-2020.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Laura Wood. Laura has been heavily involved in a range of extracurricular activities aimed at building school spirit and establishing ties to the local community including the Christmas Food Drive, peer support, peer tutoring, Hills Relay for Life, Red Cross Blood Drive and 40hr Famine.

The Senior Citizen of the Year Award in 2016 was shared between two winners Warren Glenny and Grahame Utley. Warren’s service with the Castle Hill RSL Group and The Hills community expands and covers a vast array of activities including involvement in Relay for Life, Red Shield Business Appeal, Help2Help Cambodia Community Building Scholarship and the Rattle N Hum Car Show for Tallowood Special Needs School. Grahame Utley has been an active member of the community for over 35 years. Grahame joined Baulkham Hills Lions Club in 1978 after a chance meeting with a member of the Lions Club at the Castle Hill Show. Grahame remains an active member of the Lion's Club to this day.

The Hills Daily Grind was the recipient of the Community Project – Excellence in Social Enterprise award. The Hills Daily Grind works with at-risk youth and those with physical disabilities to affect positive outcomes such as improved self-esteem, increased confidence and pathways to employment and further education.

The winner of the Community Project – Excellence in Community was awarded to Mental Health Month Country Style High Tea. The Mental Health Month Country Style High Tea involved more than 22 volunteers from 12 different organisations all working together to deliver vital messages about the importance of looking after your own mental health and reducing the stigma of talking about mental illness with others. Over 100 guests, from consumers to community leaders and service providers attended the sold out event which was held in the Education Pavilion at Castle Hill Showground.

Three Mayoral Commendation Awards were also awarded in 2016 in the categories of Mayoral Commendation Award winner, Young Citizen of the Year Sporting Achievement and Citizen of the Year Sporting Achievement.

The winner of the Mayoral Commendation Award was Mike Yeo. Mike is commended for the significant time and effort he put into the Centenary of Anzac commemorations in 2015 and devotes a number of hours each week in service to the Castle Hill RSL sub branch. Mike has been a member of the Sydney Hills Business Chamber for 20 years, chairman and board member of HillsSIP (now 2realise) and is also involved in Relay for Life and many other community events.

The Mayoral Commendation for Young Citizen of the Year- Sporting Achievement was awarded to Janath Kasthuriarachchi and the Mayoral Commendation award for Citizen of the Year -Sporting Achievement was awarded to Brad Mitchell.

“I would encourage all Hills locals to take time to congratulate the wonderful efforts of the individuals and groups that received Australia Day Awards this year. I would also encourage locals to take notice of the community work that people and groups around them perform in 2016 and nominate them for an Australia Day Award next year,” Mayor Byrne said.

The Hills Shire Council celebrates its newest citizens this Australia Day 

The Hills Shire Council has joined towns and regions across the nation in welcoming Australia’s newest citizens as part of its Australia Day 2016 celebrations.

26 new citizens from 10 countries pledged their loyalty to Australia and its people on Tuesday 26 January at Bella Vista Farm.

Mayor of the Hills Shire Dr Michelle Bryne said the citizenship ceremony was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of citizenship as a unifying bond strengthening the local community.

“Australia Day is a time for us to congratulate our newest citizens and welcome them to the Australian family,” she said.

Australia Day is also an opportunity for all citizens, new or old, to reflect on what it means to be Australian.

“On Australia Day we should all celebrate our shared values and recommit our determination to make Australia an even better place for future generations,” Mayor Byrne said.

This Australia Day, more than 16,000 people from around 150 countries became Australian citizens at almost 400 citizenship ceremonies.

Thank you to our Australia Day partners

Major Partner





Storage King

Storage King – Castle Hill and Rouse Hill

Virgin Active


Event Cinemas


  • 26 January 2016 | 12:00 PM to 09:00 PM


Bella Vista Farm Park, Cnr Elizabeth Macarthur Drive & Norwest Blvd, Bella Vista 2153  View Map

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