Yass Valley residents will be joined by Australia Day Ambassador, celebrated Aussie french-born Chef David Bitton this Thursday.

The Yass Valley is preparing for its annual Australia Day Ceremony and BBQ breakfast which this year will be held at the new location of Riverbank Park (Rotunda side), Yass this Thursday, January 26.

A family fun day continues after the Citizenship and Australia Day award ceremony and will see market stalls, and live music as well as a chance to meet the 2023 Australia Day Ambassador. Both Yass and Binalong Pools have free entry on Australia Day.

Nominations for the 2023 Yass Valley Australia Day Awards closed on the deadline on December 9th 2022 with the community called upon to nominate outstanding individuals or groups who make a significant contribution and difference to the Yass Valley.

This year sees a change to the categories with residents now able to nominate an event of the year, sportsperson of the year and volunteer of the year.

The awards recognise outstanding achievement, an event held, during the past year and/or contribution to the local community.

2022 Australia Day Citizen of the Year recipient Barry O’Mara with Deputy Mayor Jasmin Jones, Mayor Allan McGrath and 2022 Ambassador Bob Turner

Awards categories for the 2023 Australia Day awards are: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year, Event of the Year, Community Group of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. 

Yass Valley’s 2023 Australia Day ambassador is French-born and trained chef, David Bitton, originally from Paris. 

David’s online biography states that he left home to become a Chef when he was 15.

“After many hard years as an apprentice in Paris and Cannes, I eventually found my way to Australia under a sills visa. 

“I arrived on Anzac Day in 1991 with one suitcase and $1000 in my pocket and started my first job at The Treasury at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel.

“It was there that I met my future wife and business partner –Sohani. Sohani’s family are of Indian descent and immigrated from South Africa in the 1970s.

“In 1996 I took on my first Head Chef position at the famous Gekko restaurant at The Sheraton on the Park. In 2000 Sohani and I turned our backs on our corporate careers to follow our dream of opening up our own café. This became a reality when we opened the doors of Bitton Alexandria.

“In 2010 I published my first cookbook selling an unprecedented 60,000 copies and in 2011 we started Bitton Consulting, helping other small businesses and food producers.

“In 2016 we further expanded with the opening of our second 100+ seater café in Oatley, Sydney.

“I am an active philanthropist within my own local community and regularly work with the Ronald McDonald House charity. I was on the Partnership Council of the Chris O’Brien Life House Centre for Cancer Research and am very proud to have been an Australia Day Ambassador for the last 5 years.”

Here’s to a hot and joyful 2023 Australia Day for the Yass community.

Tim Warren