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Media Release – 15 December 2023 – 2024 Australia Day Ambassadors Announced

Dec 15, 2023

2024 Australia Day Ambassadors Announced

Preparations are in full swing for the Australia Day celebrations in the Hilltops Region. Three ambassadors are scheduled to visit the area, contributing their time to assist residents and visitors in commemorating this annual event.

The National Australia Day Council enlists numerous Australia Day Ambassadors, who willingly volunteer their time to participate in ceremonies nationwide. Their aim is to instill a sense of pride and celebration within local communities during Australia Day.

Hilltops Council is delighted to share that Mr. Greg Donovan is scheduled to visit Boorowa, Ms. Promilla Gupta OAM will be in Boorowa, and Mr. Peter Cousens AM will be making a visit to Young.

Mr Greg Donovan – Boorowa

Greg is the founder of ‘Born to Run’ and is a motivational speaker. In 2008 Greg’s son Stephen, who was 14 at the time, was diagnosed with both Type 1 diabetes and Coeliac disease at the same time, which was devastating to Stephen and his family.

Greg dedicated himself to doing something to raise funds to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes, and with his experience in running and fundraising, in 2012 he founded the Born to Run Foundation to achieve this goal.
Greg put together a 5 person running team, dubbed Team Born to Run, which included himself and his oldest son Matthew. The team tackled the gruelling 4 deserts running series, which involves running 250km across each of 4 of the most forbidding deserts in the world, with the series finishing in Antarctica. The 4 deserts series is rated by Time Magazine alongside Tour de France and Dakar Rally as one of the top 10 most challenging endurance events on the planet. Only 11 people have managed to achieve this feat, and the 5 person Born to Run Team is the first team to complete the 4 Desert Grand Slam, and also contains both the youngest and oldest person to achieve this feat as well as the first father and son, the first couple and first type 1 diabetic. Greg says that by literally going to all ends of the earth to bring awareness and raise funds he hopes he can inspire others to do more to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Realising the life changing affects of running 250km across deserts Greg has introduced this form of running sport to Australia by establishing the Big Red Run, an annual week long running event based out of Birdsville in the Simpson Desert, allowing Australians the ability to enjoy this unique experience and raise funds for Type 1 diabetes research, as well as drawing in people from around the world to enjoy the Australian outback. In July 2013 Greg ran 250km in this event with his son Stephen who has Type 1, and this inaugural event in 2013 raised over $160,000 for Type 1 diabetes research, and after 6 years has now raised over $1.1m for JDRF.
Since then Greg has also founded the Anzac Day Challenge, a 100km Trail running event that in its first year in 2015 raised over $120,000 for Soldier On and Mates 4 Mates. He also founded Australia’s most remote music festival the Birdsville Big Red Bash, which in 2018 was headlined by John Farnham and saw over 9,000 people rocking the Simpson Desert, generating over $11m in tourism benefits for the many small outback towns surrounding the festival.

Ms Promilla Gupta OAM – Harden  

Promilla won the Premier’s 2018 Multicultural Regional Community Medal Winner. She is a Chef who specializes in vegetarian food. Promilla is also an author of two cooking books, a Cooking Editor for Indian Newspaper, a community Radio Presenter, an Events Anchor, a tutor at WEA, a Tour Leader to India and runs her own business named ‘Promilla’s Kitchen’.

She has won many awards like ‘SA Pride of Australia 2006’, ‘SA Senior Citizen of the Year 2007’, Finalist of Irene Krastev awards 2007, ‘Winner of Indian Cultural awards 2009’and ‘Winner of NSW Premiers Communities Awards 2018’. Promilla was also awarded OAM in the year 2020.

Some of Promilla’s achievements include:

  • Ambassador for Education Adelaide in 2011 for International students.
  • Ambassador for Oz Asia Festival in 2011. Oz Asia is the largest festival held in South Australia
  • Teamed up with Salvation Army and volunteered to cook for about 120 homeless people once each month.
  • Producer/ actor of a short film ‘Five Spices’ on multi-culturalism.
  • Ran a Hindi language school
  • Radio Presenter – E.B.I. 103.1 FM Hindi
  • Cooking Editor of newspaper ‘The Indian Down Under’

Promilla is mainly focused now on the mentoring and advisory roles

Mr. Peter Cousens AM – Young 

Peter Cousens, is the Artistic Director of the Talent Development Project and in 2019 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the performing arts and to the community.

A graduate of National Institute of Dramatic Art, he played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on London’s West End for 11 months and has had an extensive career playing major roles in plays and musicals throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

His musical theatre roles include over 1500 performances as Marius in Les Miserables; and 2000 as Raoul in the Australian production of The Phantom Of The Opera; over 500 performances as Chris in Miss Saigon for which he won Variety Heart Award for Best Performer.

Peter has recorded five albums, directed the feature film “Freedom” and so much more.

For more information about our Ambassadors and Australia Day celebrations in the Hilltops visit: https://www.hilltops.nsw.gov.au/community/australia-day/  

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