IN HIS last Australia Day address as mayor of Leeton shire, the emotion of the occasion was evident for Paul Maytom.
Councillor Maytom became visibly choked up when reaching the conclusion of his annual address, telling the crowd it had been his honour to be part of the shire's Australia Day award ceremonies for many years.
Leeton's Australia Day was moved at the last minute when rain began to tumble on Tuesday morning, instead held at the Roxy Theatre.
Proceedings got underway with a welcome to country from Wiradjuri man William Ingram, with a minute silence also held in respect for Indigenous people across the country.
A virtual flag raising of the Australian and Aboriginal flags also took place.
Cr Maytom used his annual address to speak about why diversity was so important in Leeton shire.
"It was truly uplifting this morning to acknowledge our First Nations in our revised Australian national anthem where we sung about being 'one and free'," he said.
"We come together with a common bond of being Australians, no matter where we come from.
"Australia Day is a day to reflect about what is great about our country and our people."
Cr Maytom also spoke about Leeton shire's rich multicultural background and diversity, which continues to thrive today.
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Fifteen new residents were officially welcome following a citizenship ceremony on the day as well.
"As a council we are doing a lot of work in the refugee and migrant resettlement space to ensure we can best support people to better integrate in the Leeton community," Cr Maytom said.
He rounded out his address by wishing everyone a safe and happy 2021 ahead.