Popular singer-songwriter and radio presenter Damien Leith has been announced as Cessnock's Australia Day ambassador for 2020.
Irish-born Leith - who rose to fame as the winner of Australian Idol in 2006 - has made his mark in Australia as a singer, songwriter, actor, author, playwright and TV/radio presenter.
When not touring and performing, Leith spends his time in his recording studio in the Hunter Valley where he is a highly sought-after songwriter and producer.
He recently joined Muswellbrook's 98.1 Power FM's breakfast show - Stolzy and Damo for Breakfast - after moving to Scone about two years ago. He also recently shot his first feature film, Just Ruby, which he co-wrote with his wife, and will be released late 2020.
Leith said he was delighted to be selected as an ambassador for the first time this year, after performing at many Australia Day celebrations in the past.
"It's always a great day out," he said.
"On a personal level, it reminds me of when I became an Australian citizen (in 2007) - in Canberra, on national television.
"It was a very special moment for me."
Leith will share his story and will sing an iconic Australian song at the ceremony at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on Sunday.
While it will Leith's first time as an Australia Day ambassador, it won't be the first time he has taken to the stage at CPAC - he brought his Roy Orbison tribute show to the venue in 2017.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said he looks forward to welcoming Damien Leith back to the local government area and hearing about his experiences in the entertainment industry.
"It is an honour to have Damien as our Australia Day ambassador this year and it will be wonderful to hear from him about his incredible journey since winning Australian Idol back in 2006," Cr Pynsent said.
Local residents who would like to hear Damien Leith share his story are encouraged to attend the ceremony, which starts at 10am Sunday.
The free event will also include the presentation of Cessnock's Australia Day awards, and the induction of 40 new citizens.
Seats are expected to fill quickly, so arrive early to secure your spot.
A free barbecue breakfast will be held from 8am in the CPAC courtyard, and the fourth annual Mayor's Cup cricket match will be contested at East End Oval from noon.
There will also be free entry to Cessnock and Branxton Pools from 10am and 4pm on Australia Day.
CATCH AN AUSSIE CLASSIC AT CPAC
Looking for a way to kick-start the Australia Day long weekend?
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre will hold a free screening of the classic Australian film, Muriel's Wedding, on Friday night.
Muriel's Wedding tells the story of young social outcast Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette), whose ambition is to have a glamorous wedding and get out of her dead-end home town of Porpoise Spit.
Doors will open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start, and the first 50 people to arrive will receive a free choc top to enjoy in the foyer beforehand. The movie is rated M15+. Seats can be reserved by calling the box office on 4993 4266.
JOIN THE FUN AT CROWNE PLAZA
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley's Lovedale Bar has a fun-filled day planned on Australia Day.
Kicking off at 11am, the fun includes lawn games such as giant chess, giant checkers, oversize connect four, boules and more.
Two movies will be shown - Kangaroo Jack (5pm) and The Man From Snowy River (7pm).