I feel so fortunate and proud to live and to have grown up in Australia, I was born in New Zealand and came to Australia when I was 3 years old, I lived with my mum and dad until they separated when I was 8 year old and continue to live with my mum in a single parent home - my brother lived with our dad for a few years before returning to live with us. From a young age it has been instilled in me that I can be anything I want to be, however I choose to do it. I have been educated, clothed well, learnt various skills, had free medical treatment and
I can express myself in many different ways without being discriminated against. I can publicly express my religious and political views if I choose and can have friends from many differing religions, races, cultures and celebrate their differences. I can stay at home to care for my children whilst my husband attends work. My daughter can sit in class and not be singled out for her brown skin, along with Indian, Iranian, Lebanese, Korean, Chinese, Australian, New Zealanders, Ugandan Australians, Polish, Italian. I can choose and enjoy eating foods from many nations and love the fact that when I am out I can hear many different languages around me. If a person is not talking to me I do not feel it matters what language they talk, if I am being spoken to I will attempt in every way to listen and respond as best I can. I can drive a car, shop at a supermarket and buy produce from all over the world, I have easy access to the Internet, television, books, I can vote and write to political members about issues I am unhappy about. I do not know the real fear of loosing my life or a loved one close by, starvation or intense illness
I know in our country and the world beyond there are many millions of people who have less than 100th of what I have and it is today that I think of them. People who are suffering through illnesses such as AIDS, those living through War and Genocide, children who can not or do not receive education, those suffering starvation or hunger, mothers who fear each minute with their children could be Thier last or fathers who no matter how hard they work can not provide for their families, those who are punished for their religious or political beliefs, to the children on the street begging for money, selling themselves, involved in wars, to the native Australian families who have lost their tradition through white mans settlement, to new Australians who are discriminated against or judged by the ignorant.
It is my wish today that people all over the world can be as lucky as I. To receive basic health, education, food, safety, shelter and love. It starts with us One man can make a difference
Australia Day web site describes Australia Day 9in such a perfect way -"On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.
It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.
There are many great things about this country:
The people - The life savers on the beach and the farmers in the bush; the larrikins; our sporting heroes, artists and visionaries; the volunteers who dedicate their lives to others; the spirit of pulling together in hard times and achieving beyond expectation; the eminent Australians from all walks of life, the battlers and the ordinary Australians who are anything but ordinary.
Our land - Fragile yet enduring. Harsh and extreme, lush and bountiful-a continent like no other. Our ancient land offers boundless opportunity, sustains us and makes us who we are.
Our diversity - A nation of difference and unity. People from the city, the country, different nations and backgrounds; we are one people, living together. Through our diverse beliefs and experiences we learn from each other and grow together.
The indigenous cultures - The rich and resilient spirituality; the knowledge, art and history. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are part of Australia's identity and culture.
Our freedom and democracy - A society built on fundamental rights and responsibilities. Freedom of thought and expression. Participation in government and respect for and equality under the law.
A fair go for all - An enduring spirit of mateship and fairness. A compassionate society committed to access to employment, housing, health and education. Ours is a land of opportunity where we can do anything."
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!