WHAT'S ON

Wellington's Australia Day awards ceremony is on January, 26

Paul Featherstone has been announced as the 2020 Australia Day ambassador for Wellington. Photo: Supplied.

Paul Featherstone has been announced as the 2020 Australia Day ambassador for Wellington. Photo: Supplied.

Paul Featherstone has been announced as the 2020 Australia Day ambassador for Wellington.

The NSW Ambulance Special Access Casualty Team senior instructor will be at Cameron Park this Sunday for the award ceremony.

He has been instrumental in emergency management for events such as the 1997 Thredbo Disaster, the Bali Bombing, the Waterfall Rail Disaster in 2003, and the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue.

After joining the NSW Ambulance Service in 1972, Mr Featherstone has spent the last 35 years perfecting skills in the recovery and care of people in life threatening situations, placing his own life at risk on countless occasions in order to save the lives of others.

He also conceived and developed the Special Casualty Access Team (SCAT) in 1986, developing patient access methods and high level of care in hostile environments.

This experience positions him as a specialist in situations where lives are often at stake, therefore requiring a quick assessment and response to prevent further injury.

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Mr Featherstone has been the recipient of the Ambulance Service's highest award for bravery, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Australian Bravery Medal, the Humane Society's Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, Prince Phillip Helicopter Rescue Award and the Ambulance Service Medal as part of the Queen's Birthday Honour List.

He has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2007.

Mr Featherstone is among 120 other Australia Day ambassadors who are volunteering their time to share their inspiring messages at community-hosted Australia Day events across the country.

This year's Australia Day theme is 'Everyone, every story'.

The theme aims to encourage us all to to reflect upon the country's history, diversity and culture, and unite through shared values and experiences.

Entries open: The 2019 Australia Day award winners cut the celebratory cake alongside the Ambassador and mayor Ben Shields. Photo: File.

Entries open: The 2019 Australia Day award winners cut the celebratory cake alongside the Ambassador and mayor Ben Shields. Photo: File.

NSW Australia Day Council Chairman, Andrew Parker said January 26 is a day to reflect on what's great about our country and our people, particularly our strong sense of community in times of crisis.

"This year we want to bring people together to reflect on and celebrate the Australian Spirit, as well as honour and support those who are facing extraordinary hardship. All efforts large or small go a long way," Mr Parker said.

Wellington will host its Australia Day celebrations at Cameron Park on Sunday, January 26, 2020, where a free breakfast will be served ahead of the ceremony.

The award categories are Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year, Junior Sportsperson of the Year, Community Event of the Year and Community Service/Achievement Award.