Valuing who we are as a nation, means embracing all our history and not erasing it.
Acknowledging the good, the bad and the worthy and telling those stories.
And being grateful for the countless thousands whose sacrifices in the ordinary and extraordinary struggles of the everyday, created one of the most successful and wealthy democratic nations in the world with first-world standards and opportunities, and peace.
It was no accident. It didn’t just happen, and we are inheritors of their legacy.
I’m proud to be an Australian and I won’t trash talk my nation.
For all her imperfections, she is magnificent and worthy of defending.
We are custodians, not only of the land, but of the flame of freedom and opportunity through which the labour and sacrifice of our forbearers who laid a good foundation.
There are challenges to overcome but when we look around the world, thank God, for living in this nation for so many reasons.
I choose to celebrate the best of who we are as a nation, not just on one day a year.
Let’s together pledge with heart and soul to leave it a better place for future generations.
Isn’t that what our forefathers and foremothers would expect of us if their voices could be heard across the mists of time from a world so foreign to the one we have inherited?
Australia is a melting pot from many nations as well as ancient peoples.
It is a modern miracle that people of such diverse backgrounds can come together in one nation, appreciative of our respective heritage but building a combined future.
The words of the song, “I Am Australian” by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton capture so well how I feel about this nation and why we must never lose sight of the need to bring people together rather than to fracture our national unity.
For me there is poignance in the line “I am a daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode. The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road”.
It could represent my great grandmothers who walked overland through the Australian bush as their families came to Australia seeking a better life, and how they buried many babies, and spouses, in lonely bush graves due to disease.
“We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian.”
To all who made this nation great I say, “Thank You”.