I am. You are. We all are.

Today I celebrate Australia Day.

I celebrate the nation we are and the nation we hold the reins to become.

I celebrate a political system that allowed me to give birth to my babies safely, respectfully and cheaply, a system that gives me access to a free education and a university degree that I don’t have to pay back in interest for the rest of my life. I celebrate that knowledge is not restricted to the wealthy, manipulated or hidden from me.

I celebrate that mistakes were made throughout our nation’s history but everyday more people take up the cause to make sure they never happen again. If we don’t learn from them it was all for nothing. I celebrate the aid workers, the teachers, the scientists and environmental activists, the armed forces, the artists, the firefighters, anyone and everyone, even the politicians who strive each day to make our nation better. I celebrate that I have the freedom to speak against them and to vote for whom I chose. I cherish that above all else.

I celebrate the families who fought uncountable hardships to come here for a new life, I mourn the tragic loss of those who didn’t make it and the ones left waiting in the system. I pray you will have a home soon. I celebrate the food, the culture, the best country in the world because of the gifts you bring to share with us.

I celebrate our landscape, the outback, the shining beaches, our cities and the crumbling sandstone caves strewn with ageless drawings, you give me peace and lift my spirits. I celebrate the entrepreneurs, the businesses big and small, the farmers. But most of all I celebrate the everyday Aussies who put their hands in their pockets time and again to help others in need at home and overseas. Our nation is strong because of you.

Today I force myself to celebrate the opinions of those I don’t agree with, the ones who call this day a useless waste of time, a blight on our history. You drive me bananas every year but you encourage me to continually reassess the life I lead. Is it good enough? Am I working hard enough to make a difference? Am I a worthy citizen of the most incredible land on earth? And most importantly how can I be better? So I will also raise my glass to you.

On this day I celebrate all these things and much more. Our nation is a far greater sum of its parts and I am just a tiny piece of it. But I am as always. Australian.

 

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1 Comment

  1. claire

     /  January 30, 2012

    You always take me to a beautiful place as I read and get transported from my day but this one really stirred the proud Aussie in me. Should be out there for all!

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