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Australia Day Ambassadors announced for Hilltops

Jan 11, 2019

Preparations for Australia Day celebrations in the Hilltops Region are underway, with three ambassadors set to visit the area to help residents and visitors celebrate the annual event.

Paralympic gold medallist and world champion Lindy Hou has been announced as the Australia Day Ambassador for Young, Australian modern pentathlete Ed Fernon will be celebrating in Harden and Donna Ciccia, co-founder of Endometriosis Australia will be joining the Boorowa community for the day.

Lindy Hou OAM is Paralympic Gold Medallist and World Champion who, as a small child dreamed of standing on the Olympic podium with a Gold medal around her neck. In 2004 at the Athens Paralympic Games that dream became a reality when she won a gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

“Winning those medals in Athens proved to me that anyone can, with hard work, dedication and a goal to achieve, fulfil their sweetest dreams” she shared. Lindy suffers from a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. She began losing her sight in the mid-1980s and is now almost totally blind.

“Australia is the land of opportunity and regardless of our backgrounds, we can still represent this country and be the best in the world. To be able to wear the Australian uniform and stand on the podium in Beijing, the land of my ancestors is the essence of what being an Aussie is all about” said Lindy.

Ed Fernon is an Olympian, Adventurer and Entrepreneur. At age 19 while studying at Sydney University Ed took up the sport of Modern pentathlon. Ed had never picked up a pistol or fencing sword and was a terrible swimmer but after 4 years of intensive training he qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games as Australia’s only male representative.

Following the Olympics, Ed completed a five week, 1100km horse trek from Braidwood over the Snowy Mountains to Melbourne. The ride raised over $55,000 for the Black Dog Institute as well as awareness of rural depression.

In 2015 Ed embarked on a three-week expedition to summited Mount Aconcagua, the second highest of the seven summits and highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, standing at 5,962m. After suffering terrible weather and altitude sickness Ed became the only member of the Australian expedition to reach the summit.
ln 2017 Ed competed in the Mongol Derby, which is the longest and toughest horse race in the world. The race spans 1000km across the Mongolian steppe and requires each competitor to ride 28 semi wild Mongolian horses. Most years only half of the competitors finish the race. Ed not only finished the race but won it and set a new race record in the process.

Ed’s pursuit of excellence also extends to the business world with his company Freedom Development Group. With an initial investment of $5,000, which he borrowed from a friend in 2013, Ed has now built a multi-million-dollar property portfolio and development company.

Donna Ciccia is the Co-founder and a Board Director of Endometriosis Australia and was named in the 2018 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. Donna is a Member of the Federal Steering Committee for the Implementation of the National Action Plan for Endometriosis.  Donna’s personal experiences motivated her to set up Endometriosis Australia. Her goal is to pay it forward for the next generation of women so that a successful treatment and cure can be found. She established the charity in 2012, running the organisation for over 6 years as a full-time volunteer. Throughout this time in this role she has acquired a diverse set of skills, developed a vast number of contacts nationally and internationally and has been recognised as making a significant contribution towards the promotion of a major health issue. Endometriosis Australia was born out of the need to make a change for the 730,000 women living with endometriosis in Australia.

Donna’s establishment of the Ambassador Program for Endometriosis Australia has led to the development of the ‘Friends of Endometriosis Parliamentary Committee’, a Federal bipartisan approach to ending the silence on endometriosis. Donna has been invited to speak on medical, research and public discussion panels. Her work in the development of the Endometriosis Australia Research Grants Program has come to fruition with the first grants being awarded in 2017. Donna has established successful national awareness campaigns, fundraising and educational events that has helped end the silence for the 1 in 10 women with endometriosis in Australia

Each year, the National Australia Day Council recruits over 300 Australia Day Ambassadors who volunteer their time to attend Australia Day ceremonies across the country to help inspire pride and enhance celebrations in local communities.  We look forward to welcoming our ambassadors to the Hilltops community and sharing Australia Day with them.

Event information for Australia Day celebrations across the Hilltops Region – including Australia Day Award ceremonies is available on Councils website and social media pages.

Media Contact
Sarah Karaitiana 0418 755 092

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