Across the Horsham Rural City Council, residents celebrated Australia day in person and online at a variety of community events.
Due to the ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's council ceremony was live streamed on social media instead of tradition public gathering.
The virtual event featured a raising of the flag by Horsham's Girl Guides and Scouts, and a rendition of the Australian national anthem was sung by Horsham Arts Council's Esther Fry.
Mayor Robyn Gulline received the pledges of two new Australian citizens and handed out the Australia Day awards.
State minister for Lowan, Emma Kealy, spoke at the event and said diversity is a key part of the Australian identity.
RELATED NEWS - Maternal and Child Health nurse Many Stephan honoured
"Our country has been enriched immeasurably by these generations of brave people from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas," Ms Kealy said.
"Australia has been called a melting pot, but we do not want our new arrivals to submerge their identities so that we all look, think and sound the same. Because while there are many things that make us different, the single thing that unites us all is that we are all proud Aussies."
Rotarian Colin Puls received the Citizen of the Year award for his volunteer work across several decades.
Mr Puls said volunteering had made him a better person.
"I used to do rifle, and clay shooting, but guns are a part of my history. I have made a lot of friends doing these things [volunteering]," he said.
"After 51 years in business I still go into work and 'do a little', I claim it anyway."
Sixteen-year-old Bart Turgoose received the Young citizen of the Year award after regularly volunteering across several community events.
The 60-years of Wimmera rock event received the Community event of the Year award.
Cr Robyn Gulline addressed a small audience out the front of the NC2 in Natimuk as part of the town's Australia day celebrations. .
Cr Gulline said Australia day was a chance to celebrate our shared identity.
"I think it's important that we acknowledge who we are. We all have very different histories. We all have a story," Cr Gulline said.
"This is a chance to celebrate those differences but also that we have one similarity, we are all Australians.
"I think we all share a civic responsibility. Everything we do is for the greater good. It's not all about me. This civic pride and working for the greater good is what Australians do everyday."
RELATED NEWS - Pauline McCracken honoured at Nhill Australia day event
The Mayor was joined by Natimuk Agricultural Society secretary Judith Bysouth, Horsham Presbyterian Church Minister Rev Greg Matthews, and Natimuk resident Kyra Clarke, who was the master of ceremonies.
Kyra Clarke said she thought the event went well, despite COVID-19 restrictions complicating planning.
"I think it went really well. Really well organised, we had it planned well in advance. It was just whether or not it was possible with coronavirus," Ms Clarke said.
"Australia day is significant to honour our soldiers, as Mayor Gulline said, it's just a way that we can reflect on our history and what's important to us as Australians."
Judith Bysouth said Australia day was a significant time to reflect on the past.
"Australia day to me, having been born here, is part of celebrating our identity, including everybody, and reflecting on our past. Just celebrating who we are and where we are going," Ms Bysouth said.
Brimpaen Hall hosted a smaller Australia Day gathering, with egg and bacon rolls at 8am.
Brimpaen Hall committee president, Peter McGennisken, played the guitar as a sing-along rendition of the Australian anthem was performed.
Mr McGennisken said the event was a good way to reconnect with the community.
"This year I think it's just more for the locals to come together more than anything. Last year being isolated," Mr McGennisken said.
"I think COVID has taught a lot of us that we care more for our neighbours than we most likely would have admitted. People around our lives, and family."
Brimpaen Hall committee secretary, Sue Miller said the gathering was a good way for the community to put 2020 behind them.
"We celebrate Australia day for our Australian heroes. We also celebrate it as a gathering. It is a great gathering for the community," Ms Miller said.
"We have gone a whole year without having any social functions or anything. That's where I think it's important that we have a bit of a gathering, just to catch up with our neighbours and the community.
"Have a chat about harvest and what is going on. Some people here we haven't seen for twelve months."
Did you know you can receive updates straight to your inbox? To make sure you're up-to-date with news from across the region, sign up below.