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Australia day is upon us once again and in true form we are surrounded by the usual controversies and politics. However this year, I have decided to take a stand and have none of it. So much of 2016 and now 2017 has been filled with negative news, the ugly side of humanity has reared its head too many time in the tabloids. This Australia day lets take the headlines back and start our year on a positive note.
My friends who happen to be of diverse colours, creeds and races. I’m looking forward to a day spent in the company of girls I have known since high school who have shared their heritages from the snowy isles of Scotland to the busy streets of Vietnam. We will be eating all manner of delicious food, scotch eggs, potato salad, the celebratory Pavlova, as well as spring rolls, fried rice and aromatic curries. Then in the evening as I watch the fireworks with my university buddies, I will listen as they tell me of similar celebrations from some of their homes, Bahrain, Columbia, China, Geneva and I will feel the patriotism for my own country prickles over me.
The Australia I celebrate is the one of the red, green and gold landscape perfumed by eucalyptus. It’s the one that allows me to speak my mind, freely practice my religion and live in a vibrant community. It is a country that has many faults historically as well as presently, but it is also a country where the people care, where they stand up for each others rights. For some of us this is a haven from a wrecked past, for others it is where they were born and bred. The one thing we all have in common, is that this is home.
Regardless of our personal stances, there is many reasons to be happy about being Australian. For one, we haven’t voted in a racist, misogynist to the highest post in the land. For another, we are making progress as seen by the historical appointment of an aboriginal representative in the WA government. We can boast about cohabitation with some of the deadliest species in the world in relative peace. Our nations menagerie also include one of a kind creatures from cuddly koalas, kangaroos, platypus and of course our notorious drop bears. Not to mention that our imports to Hollywood are enjoying a degree of fame, we can claim one of the worlds trending heart-throb.
So even if people, politics and opinions is killing your vibe this Australia day, take a picnic down to one of our beaches, spend a moment of solitude under a coolibah tree, visit some of our interesting animals, dig your toes into the red earth and appreciate our beautiful land. There is a reason we all get so heated under the collar when raising our views, fighting our fights, there is so much of this country to love. We fear losing even a bit of what we personally deem Australian.
Let the anthem of the popular ice queen be yours for the day. Let it go and instead let the reason you fight, the reason you love this country fill you this 26th of January. Putting aside the hype, the hurt, let’s be united for one day. Lets allow each other to enjoy their home, this beautiful country that we share. Let us respect the past but realize that our present, our future is with each other. This Australia day define being Australian as someone who loves their home for all its virtues and faults.
Nothing is perfect but we could do a lot worse.