Ceremonies livestreamed in an age of COVID-safety

With COVID-safe restrictions meaning only a limited live audience could attend this year's Hawkesbury Australia Day Citizenship and Australia Day Awards at the Regional Gallery in Windsor, council livestreamed the events via its Youtube channel.

The audience received the Welcome to Country and address by Boorooberongal woman of the Darug Nation Erin Wilkins, who spoke of the importance of acknowledging and reflecting on the history of aboriginal people, before 19 residents were declared Australians.

The group came from nations including Armenia, United Kingdom, Malta, Nepal, United States, Canada, India and Denmark.

Hawkesbury's Australia Day ambassador, Gary "Smokey" Dawson addressed the gathering, speaking about the importance of charity and being involved in the community.

A passionate supporter of numerous charities himself, Smokey has raised more than $18 million over the past 25 years.

Mayor Patrick Conolly congratulated the new citizens and stressed the importance of community.

"Supporting our community and connecting with you is really important to us. I'm continually amazed to see how well our community members support each other," he said.

"Our emergency services volunteers are a perfect example of the support that is readily provided to our community year after year. We will always need the ever present assistance of our emergency services staff and volunteers whether it is during fire, floods, storms or other emergencies.

"Our 2020 Mayoral Christmas Appeal held in December is another way that our community shows great generosity where it really makes a difference.

"Many gifts for men, women and children were donated as Christmas presents to Hawkesbury Helping Hands, a community charity organisation that has won awards for their commitment to our local community."