As Australians, our fates have always been bound together.
During this past year, we have been reminded once again of our shared fortunes. How much we depend on each other.
In a year where much of the world has struggled under the strain of the global pandemic, Australians, together, have prevailed, in our own Australian way.
From the kids who made masks for others and who studied remotely; to the aged care residents who endured difficult COVID restrictions: every Australian has played a part responding to a once-in-a century pandemic.
Australia Day is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate.
On Australia Day we reflect on that journey, the price that has been paid for our freedom, the lessons of our history and the privilege of being able to call ourselves Australians.
Today, we honour 60,000 years of Indigenous history; draw strength from our representative democracy that is a beacon to free peoples; and express our gratitude on the bounty that is ours as the most successful multicultural nation on Earth. These stories do not compete with each other, they simply coexist and are woven together.
We are a decent, fair, enterprising, and generous people who respond to whatever challenge is put before us. We are a people “one and free” who look out for each other and our neighbours, and are always striving to do better.
Whilst our celebrations will be different this year because of the pandemic, we look to the future with hope and optimism – understanding that together we can and will get through these difficult times.
Happy Australia Day!