Australia Day celebrations are always a great start to the year for the Warracknabeal community. A big crowd ventured to Anzac Park on Saturday morning for a sumptuous hot breakfast cooked by the Rotary Club, while listening to the music of local trio of John Butcher, Curl Taylor and Frosty Gunn. Rotaractors had plenty for children too- games, face painting, temporary tattoos and a photo booth. When local Aero Club pilot, Phil Lienert, flew over the park, it was time for  the offical proceedings to start. The Guides and Scouts' Flag Parade led the official party to the stage.  
President of the Rotary Club, Chris Hewitt, welcomed everyone to this occasion where we take time to celebrate our great community and country. This year's guest speaker was Rob Spicer. Rob was born in Warracknabeal and was known for his sporting prowess, particularly in swimming.... in the early days the creek was the only venue for swimming.  He left school as soon as he could and went off to join the Navy. His love of swimming and the water saw him become a diver in the Navy, and in his 30s he trained to become a sea Captain. His talents and hard work saw him become a Master of some of the biggest oil tankers in the world.  An inspirational story!
The audience was then entertained by Darryn Wardle, a talented local musician, who is back home after many years in Broome.
Warracknabeal and District Australia Day Awards were presented to Geoff Lovel (Citizen of the Year), Alan McLean (Sportsperson of the Year), Merryn Baxter (Sports Achiever of the Year) and Nicola Clyne (Young Achiever of the Year). Two Yarriambiack Shire award were also presented to Warracknabeal locals. Lily Eldridge was the Young Achiever of the Year, while The Wheat City Angels' Victorian Stampede won the Event of the Year. 
Rotary is the proud organiser of this event each year as a service to the community. This annual event, with its celebration of local stories, local talent and local contributions, perfectly reflects the Rotary International theme for 2018-19, 'Be The Inspiration'.