You may have heard that David was recently announced as an Australia Day Ambassador for 2013 and if you know David personally you will be aware of how proud he is to have been given this honour.
Leading up to Australia Day was an exciting journey that we would like to share with you. Here’s a timeline of the events…
Tuesday the 22nd of Jan
The Australia Day Address followed by a cocktail reception at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The address was delivered by Paralympic Gold Medalist and Marathon Man of wheelchair sports Kurt Fearnley.
Friday the 25th of Jan
Not a moment was spared on the itinerary!
It all began with the Australia Day Lunch at Exhibition Hall 5, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour.
David was seated next to Paul Featherstone – a unique individual. Paul has spent the last 30 years perfecting skills in the recovery and care of people in life threatening situations. In addition to regular Paramedic duties, Paul has played a role in aiding multiple victims from the following major emergencies.
- Granville Rail Crash
- Thredbo Landslide
- Special Response Operations – Olympic Games (Aquatic, Helicopter, C.B.R. Crowds, V.I.P. & Terrorist)
- Bali Bombings
- Waterfall Rail Crash
- Beaconsfield Mine Rescue
Everyone enjoyed the lunch which was superbly organised and the entertainment included John Farnham, Cold Chisel, INXS and Men at Work. John Foreman was of course in charge of the music and Gretel Killeen did a brilliant job as MC of the event.
“It was simply magic, and I was so proud to be a part of it.” David said.
At 4.30pm David Bitton and Paul Featherstone boarded a flight with Brindabella Airlines and when they arrived in Cobar, Paul continued his journey to Ivanhoe to fulfill his duties as an Australia Day Ambassador.
Here are a few interesting statistics (again if you know David, you will know how much he loves this stuff!)…
Cobar has 6.5km per resident compared to 0.0004km in Alexandria!
Cobar is the same size land mass as Denmark yet there are 6.5 million residents compared to 5,271 residents in Cobar.
Saturday the 26th of Jan – AUSTRALIA DAY
The big day has arrived!
From 9am – 2pm David was at Cobar Swimming Pool for the official awards ceremony, speeches and an unexpected and invigorating swimming relay.
“Cobar was of course the highlight!” David said. “John Martin took incredibly good care of us from the airport to dinner and the official Australia Day events. John also took us on a tour through Cobar and I’ve just never experienced such a warm welcome.”
“I can’t forget Mayor Lilliane Brady! I was laughing so hard that I cried with her for over 2 hours. I’ve never seen an 81 year old lady with such energy, an amazing sense of humour and holding such a big responsibility. As you can imagine we were both very amused by each other.” David said.
That evening, they drove to Dubbo and stopped to have a beer in a local pub. Dinner was at One7Eight inside the Dubbo RSL. Steak with truffled mash, garlic prawns and bomb alaska. “Perfect service and a great atmosphere – what more can you ask for?” David said.
The next morning before flying back to Sydney, David visited Dubbo Western Plains Zoo.
What a great way to start 2013! Just one last thing, did you know that David has never tried vegemite? I wonder who will be the first to convince/dare him! Has David ever backed away from a challenge?