Hundreds of people have arrived at Carss Bush Park for today's Australia Day Festival hosted by Georges River Council.
Families relaxed under the trees by the foreshore, took to the waters of Kogarah Bay or sampled the multicultural food stalls.
Following the traditional Welcome to Country the National Anthem was sung by the Endeavour Harmony Chorus.
Georges River Council's 2020 Australia Day Ambassador, former Dragons player and NSW Young Australian of the Year, Corey Payne praised the Australian spirit particularly seen in the response to the bushfire disaster.
"Australia does have a great culture of volunteering," Mr Payne said.
The one shining light in this national disaster, if there is one, is the Australian spirit of helping one another, he said.
"We have won the lottery of life by being born in Australia," Mr Payne said.
"Australia has one of the greatest education systems in the world. All of us have access to higher and further education,"
As an example he mentioned his own upbringing in south-west Sydney where as the son of a fruit shop owner and a hairdresser he was able to go to university and eventually to get three university degrees.
Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene announced the Georges River Council Citizen of the Year as Ivan McKay, long-term member of the Lugarno Lions.
Young Citizen of the Year is Eliza Martin, 17, who he praised for her record of scientific research into lactose intolerance which she has carried out even though she has still to sit for her HSC.
The new category of Green Advocate of the Year was awarded to Geroge Garrard of the Citizens' Climate Lobby.
And violinist and music teacher Fox Chan was recipient of the new Arts and Cultural award.
Following this, Councillor Greene presented almost 80 of our newest citizens with their certificate of citizenship.
Following the official proceedings, Georges River Council was due to present its annual Australia Day concert with the headline act of Russell Morris.