One of Australia’s most accomplished female paddlers has been announced as this year’s Hills Shire Australia Day Ambassador.
Olympian and paramedic Jo Brigden-Jones will give a special Australia Day Address at Council’s Australia Day celebration at Bella Vista Farm on Friday.
Jo has a long list of remarkable achievements including representing Australia in sprint kayaking at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Ahead of celebrations, FOCUS caught up with Jo to discuss how she plans to celebrate our nation’s day, how she became involved in kayaking and how it feels to be an Australia Day Ambassador.
This is what she had to say:
Focus: How did you get involved in kayaking?
Jo: When I was 13, I got selected for a local kayak club Talent Identification Program. I was a sporty kid but hadn’t really found my sport yet. I didn’t really know much about kayaking, but I was happy to give it a go and ended up loving it.
Focus: How does it feel to represent your country at an international sporting level?
Jo: I’ve always loved putting on the green and gold paddling outfit and was always proud to represent Australia. I had so much support from my family, friends and community along the way, so I was always happy to be racing for them.
Focus: How does it feel to be The Hills Shire Australia Day Ambassador?
Jo: It’s a great honour to be The Hills Shire Australia Day Ambassador. I think this is my 8th year being an Australia Day Ambassador. I always enjoy being part of the celebrations and getting to meet lots of different people from your local area.
Focus: Apart from attending our Australia Day celebration at Bella Vista Farm, do you do anything special to celebrate our nation’s day?
Jo: I will probably head down to the beach for a swim if the weather is nice and catch up with my family.
Focus: What does Australia Day mean to you?
Jo: Australia Day is a time to reflect on the opportunities I have been given through sport and other avenues and everything I have been able to achieve as an Australian. I love using the day to connect with different communities and cultures, coming together to appreciate our amazing country we live in.