I think Minnie Mace who I saw on SBS’s Living Black quite some time ago talking about various faiths of today’s Aboriginals said it best.
I think that all faiths, religions are like a string of pearls with a thread of truth running through all of them. And I believe that respect for one’s self, respect of others and respect for the environment, the sum total is the respect for God. I don’t believe in an invasion because I believe in a divine arrangement. The English language has broken down 600 language barriers – we couldn’t even talk to each other. And if I don’t want to get up in the morning, I don’t have to – I’ve got a fridge at home, I don’t have to hunt and gather every day to survive. And I’d rather be tracking down a kangaroo on the back of a fast-moving ute than running him down on foot. Our ancestors suffered so we could have all these benefits today and our kids don’t respect anything because they’re so full of hate and anger and that’s brought about by these academics perpetuating a noble savage on one hand, and we have a sense of grieving for paradise lost, and, on the other hand, it’s an invasion. We were advancing spiritually and they were advancing technologically and now we’ve all been brought together we have to understand each other’s culture, each other’s belief and then set a good standard for the future generations.
That’s such a beautiful and honest way of looking at it.
Jeremy Kewley from the former police drama stingers, once summed up Australia day in this way:
Australia Day is a day of celebration, commemoration and a day of profound reflection.
A day where we can pause to look back over thousands of years,
To what this country was and what it has become,
To what we have done – both good and bad, for and with, our country.
Australia Day is a time to understand and acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them and then to use that knowledge and understanding to move forward.
A day where we can celebrate what we have today ?
Our tolerance – our acceptance of others and their acceptance of us,
Our diversity – from culture to food, from language to religion.
Our landscape – vast and exhilarating, green and gold, deep red and ocean blue.
Our lifestyle – relaxed, casual, informal and welcoming.
Our sense of humour – never taking ourselves too seriously.
Our mateship – a common bond which all Australians seem to ‘understand’.
And our luck at living in Australia,
One of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Another beautiful and honest way.
Personally I think Australia Day is best summed up by the words of the famous song ? I am Australian
I came from the dreamtime from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I’d been the first Australian.
I came upon the prison ship bowed down by iron chains.
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler.
I’m a farmer’s wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man I became Australian.
I’m the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the depression
I saw the good times come
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler
I am Australian
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
I am, you are, we are Australian.
As Australians we come from a variety of backgrounds, a variety of cultures and today we celebrate, commemorate and reflect on our history. It is the new millennium; it is a time to move forward, it is a time for progress. It is time for Australia to succeed. Australia is proud of her history of hard yakka. It is in our blood, it is in our hearts, its in our hands. Today I am proud to be Australian.