Our new ambassador

FORMER Queanbeyan High School captain Maddison Godden has been named Queanbeyan's Australia Day Ambassador for 2013.

Mayor Tim Overall said The Australia Day Committee felt younger citizens, like Miss Godden, were great everyday ambassador for Queanbeyan.

Cr Overall said Miss Godden's personal attributes and leadership skills made her the ideal choice for ambassador.

Miss Godden was encouraged to apply for the role by her school year advisor and said she was honoured to be able to represent the community. The 18-year-old will give an address at the local Australia Day cleebrations at Queanbeyan Park on Saturday, January 26 as part of her ambassador role.

"I was quite ecstatic … quite shocked to be chosen from the group of people at school who entered and all the other applicants," she said.

"I've grown up in Queanbeyan and I'm more than happy to represent the town and community as a whole. I've represented Queanbeyan High School before and I wanted to take it one step further."

Miss Godden said she usually celebrates Australia Day by enjoying a barbecue with family and friends. She also likes to attend the local festivities and watch the citizenship ceremony.

"I think it's important to welcome people into the community and into Australia," she said.

"Australia Day is a day to be thankful for the society we live in and how free we really are ... a place where women and men are equal, there's opportunity for education, support from government and a culture where everyone is helpful. We're always willing to lend someone else a hand even if they're a stranger.''

Miss Godden's mother, Cathryn, said she is proud of her daughter's achievement.

"We couldn't be more proud, it's a real credit to her," she said. "I think she'll do a wonderful job following on from her role as school captain and a student representative."

Australia Day celebrations will be held in Queanbeyan Park on Saturday, January 26 from 5pm and conclude at 9pm with a fireworks display.

The afternoon will include the presentation of the 2012 Queanbeyan Australia Day awards, an address by 2013 Queanbeyan Australia Day ambassador Maddison Godden, flag-raising ceremony, live entertainment by the Sing Australia Choir, City of Queanbeyan Pipe Band and Groove Dot Com and children's activities including the free merry-go-round, jumping castle, face painting and removable tattoos.

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