• Port Stephens Council

Di Ball announced as Port’s Australia Day Ambassador


Wahroonga Aboriginal Corporation Executive Director, Order of Australia Medal recipient and CEO of the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council Dianne Ball has been announced as the Port Stephens Australia Day Ambassador for 2021.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said he’s proud to have a respected local leader as this year’s Australia Day Ambassador.


“Di Ball is a well-known and respected member of our community who has recently been recognised for her service to the Indigenous community of the Hunter.


“She’s an active member of our community who is always dedicating her time to helping others in whatever she does, whether that’s through the Wahroonga Aboriginal Corporation, Awabakal, or as a founding member of the Raymond Terrace Driver Training Program.


“We’re very proud to have Di as our 2021 Australia Day Ambassador,” he said.


Mayor Palmer said this year’s Australia Day theme is Reflect. Respect. Celebrate.


“Australia Day is a time to reflect on the contribution of the Traditional Owners of the land in Port Stephens, the Worimi people, to our community.

“This year, we also pay our respects to our frontline workers, who have put their lives and health on the line to help keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“And we take this time to celebrate our Australian spirit, our mateship and the incredible community we have here in Port Stephens,” he said.


Mayor Palmer says while celebrations will look a little different this year, there’s plenty to do across Port Stephens.


“Australia Day is typically stinking hot, so we’re inviting our community to cool off for free at their local pool at Tomaree, Tilligerry and Lakeside for free on Tuesday 26 January,” he said.


“Our community can come and enjoy a family-friendly and COVID Safe pool party where they can swim, enjoy a BBQ feed, listen to local performers and have some fun with giant pool games. At Tomaree, we’ll also be holding a movie night for those who want to stay a little longer.


“Plus at Karuah, the RSL will be holding an event for the local community with a fresh produce competition and an auction with proceeds going to the local Rural Fire Service,” he said.


“The citizenship ceremony and Port Stephens Annual Awards will be held at a small civic ceremony at the new Medowie Social this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will only be open to award recipients, conferees and Councillors,” he said.


Join us for COVID Safe events on Tuesday 26 January 2021 at:

Tomaree Aquatic Centre — open from 9am to 9pm, activities from 10am to 5pm

Tilligerry Aquatic Centre — open from 9am to 1pm, activities from 10am to 12pm

Lakeside Leisure Centre — open from 10am to 4pm, activities from 10am to 4pm

Karuah RSL — activities from 11am to 3pm


About Dianne Ball, our Australia Day Ambassador:

Ms Ball was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate Year 12 in her country of Gumbangerri (Armidale). She moved to the Port Stephens in the mid 90’s and co-founded the Wahroonga Aboriginal Corporation in 1994 in response to local need. The organisation guides service users through programs including emergency relief, family support, housing, employment and medical services. She is now Executive Director. Order of Australia Medal (OAM), 2020 for service to the Indigenous community of the Hunter Member, Port Stephens West Local Health Committee, current. CEO of the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council. Deputy Chair, Awabakal Ltd., current. Awabakal provides health care, aged care and family services to Aboriginal people in the wider Newcastle region. Founding Member, Raymond Terrace Driver Training Program, which aims to help disadvantaged young people learn vital safe driving skills.


For more information about Australia Day in Port Stephens, visit: https://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/your-council/news/australia-day-2021

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