Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

{Mackay Region's Nation's Famous } {a Vital Part of Sunshine State } {}

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

{Mackay Region's Nation's Famous } {a Vital Part of Sunshine State } {}

Article excerpt

Byline: Cait Bester cait.bester@dailymercury.com.au

HAPPY birthday Queensland!

Today we raise our glasses and celebrate the great Sunshine State's 150th birthday and what it means to be a Queenslander.

In Mackay we are defined by sprawling canfields, bustling coal mines and laud our sporting icons, such as Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman, and our laid-back way of life.

And while the state is celebrating its 150th birthday today Mackay dates back almost as far.

John Mackay settled here in 1862, only three years after Queensland broke away from New South Wales and was declared a colony.

Long-time resident and Mackay Regional Mayor Col Meng said living in Mackay was all about appreciating the great outdoors, the people and community pride.

"I am proud to have grown up here in Mackay.

"We have a lot of heritage to be proud of and, looking back on our city, we should be proud of what we have achieved and how far we have come," he said.

"I am proud to be a part of a wonderful community that, unlike some other cities, has a very friendly and happy environment. You can go anywhere in Mackay and you will be greeted with a smile; it's like we are all part of one big family."

Cr Meng said Mackay had built a strong sporting foundation and over the years produced good sporting leaders that we had seen go on to perform at national and international level.

One of Mackay's golden swimming girls, who retired after the 2008 Olympics, Linda Mackenzie claims she wouldn't live anywhere else but Queensland.

"I am proud to be a North Queenslander especially coming from Mackay. I love the relaxing atmosphere that Mackay has to offer and don't forget the weather. I also love the fact that I came from such a great sporting region," she said.

"Mackay has a wide variety of assets. We have our mining industry, the Great Barrier Reef and sugar cane on our back doorstep.

"We also enjoy our sports and have a strong cultural background to be proud of."

To continue celebrating our State's birthday the Q150 Shed, which is based on the iconic Australian woolshed, will roll into Mackay on June 25 to 27. …

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