Freedom of the City

The granting of the Freedom of Entry to the City (FOC) is a symbolic presentation which represents the highest honour that a city can confer on an individual or a Military Unit.

Freedom of Entry to the City is a ceremonial honour which became popular during the nineteenth century and draws some inspiration from medieval history. The FOC can be presented to individuals by the Mayor at a special Council Meeting or Civic Ceremony, to acknowledge the contribution of that individual or organisation and to recognise the outstanding service and commitment to the City. An Illuminated Address is presented to the recipient as part of the ceremony.

When a FOC is granted to a military unit, it is celebrated with the presentation of an Illuminated Address and a parade of the unit through the city streets with “swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and Colours flying” and is followed by a civic reception.

The Illuminated Address

Illuminated addresses were a popular way to mark special occasions or outstanding service from the 1880s to the 1930s. The tradition of presenting the Illuminated Address, although rare these days, is seen as a special way of recognising the recipient.

The wording for the Illuminated Address is formulated after thorough research and gathering of information on the recipient. This may include any special projects that the recipient was involved with, any fundraising activities or volunteer work etc.

The wording is included in a report to Council for consideration and adoption. A Council resolution is required for the process to proceed.

The Illuminated Address may also include a photograph of the recipient and drawn images of items of importance to the recipient. A local artist is then engaged to produce the final farmed document.

Freedom of the City Recipients

YearRecipient
1957The Hon E.H. Graham, MLA, Minister for Agriculture & Member for Wagga Wagga
1961Royal Australian Air Force Base Wagga Wagga
1962Kapooka Military Area
1967The Most Reverend F.A. Henschke, D.D., Second Bishop of Wagga Wagga
1974The Sisters Presentation Order, Mount Erin
1978Alderman R.J. Harris, BA Dip Ed.
1982The Hon Wal Fife MP, Minister for Aviation and Member for Farrer
1995Councillor R.F. Harris
1996Professor C.D. Blake, AM, Vice Chancellor Charles Sturt University
1998The Hon J Schipp MP, Member for Wagga Wagga
2001The Officers and Crew of HMAS Wagga Wagga
2007Mr Pat Brassil, AM
2009Australian Army Band Kapooka
2010Mrs Kay Hull, AM
2015Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Base Wagga