POPULAR Australian entertainer Judy Stone AM has been named as the region's official Australia Day ambassador for 2014.
As part of her role she will be attending Australia Day celebrations in Laurieton, Wauchope and Port Macquarie.
Her Australia Day address will be one of the highlights of the official Australia Day ceremonies across the local government area.
The theme for Australia Day across the nation will be 'Thank you Australia - let's say thanks for our way of life'. The theme is all about encouraging people to take some time to share the things that make us grateful to call Australia home.
Judy came to prominence in the early 1960s as a tiny performer belting out songs on 'Bandstand'. After touring with 'The Reg Lindsay Show' and Col Joy, Judy became a regular on Bandstand and went on to appear on every major TV show in Australia.
She has performed with many top international artists on their Australian tours including Sir Harry Secombe, Rolf Harris, Dick Emery, Johnny Mathis, Sir Cliff Richards, Howard Keel and Paul Hogan.
In the 1960s Judy's three hit records 'I'll Step Down', '4,003,221 Tears' and 'Born a Woman' established her as the top recording artist for Festival Records.
The song which gained her a national award in 1974, 'Would You Lay With Me in a Field of Stone', coupled with 'Mare Mare Mare' earned Judy the distinction of being the first Australian female entertainer with two records concurrently featuring in the Top 40.
During 1976, 'Silver Wings and Golden Rings' also reached the Top 40, firmly establishing Judy in the country pop scene. 'Hasta Manana' added to her successes, proving a big hit in Australia, with credits coming as well from England and Scotland.
Recognition of her immense talents has been overwhelming with more than 20 awards from TV and recording performances, including three TV Logies and eight 'MO' Awards.
She has represented Australia three times at international expos, twice in Japan and once in the United States. Whilst in Japan, she recorded a song in Japanese, which enabled her to successfully perform in Japan's top nightclubs.
One of the highlights of her career occurred in 1986 when she signed a history making recording contract as the first foreign female performer with the Republic of China Record Company.
In September of 1986 she was invited to Beijing to appear in a television special to coincide with the release of her album in China.
'Judy Stone in Concert' was a one woman show featuring tributes to some of her favourites including Doris Day, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline and ABBA as well as some of her own hits.
She toured nationally in 2002 and 2003 with 'Long Way to the Top' celebrating three decades of Australian recording artists.
In 2006 she received the Order of Australia for services to entertainment and her charity work. Her other accolades have included 'Champion of the West' in 2008 and Australian Entertainment Hall of Fame Mo Award, also in 2008.
Judy will make her first Australia Day speech on the morning of January 26 at Laurieton, where the official Australia Day ceremony will commence at 7am at the rear of the Laurieton United Services Club.
Then it will be off to Wauchope for the official Australia Day ceremony in Bain Park commencing at 10.35am followed by the Port Macquarie ceremony commencing at 3pm on the Town Green.