Australia Day is the day of the year that we celebrate everything that makes Australia such a fantastic place to call home.
I know Australia Day means different things to different people: for some, it’s a reminder of some of the darker times we have endured as a nation; for others it’s a celebration of how far they’ve come to get here.
On top of all of those things, I think we should also take the opportunity this year to reflect on how far WE have come. In the past 12 months we’re endured more turmoil than most of us have faced in our lifetimes. This time last year, we looked desperately to the smoke-filled skies, hoping for the horrific summer of bushfires and three years of record-breaking drought to come to an end. Both did, only to be replaced by the COVID-19 pandemic; a phenomenon that, this time last year, was only just entering the national consciousness.
The ensuing months were challenging, but it saw our states and territories come together in a way never before seen in peace time. The economy has been hit hard, and many have suffered as a result. The response has not been perfect. But when you look to the rest of the world, few have handled it better than Australia, and in particular NSW. This state – and especially the regions – is open for business and while ‘life as normal’ has changed – perhaps forever – the sacrifices we have all made in the past 12 months have saved lives. Probably tens of thousands of them.
This Australia Day, I hope we can reflect on how far we have come. How we have pulled together. How we have rediscovered a much stronger sense of community. How we have maintained our larrikin spirit. How we have embraced new ways of doing things. Ow we have learned from our mistakes. And most importantly, how we have put others before ourselves. These are values that make Aussies great, the so-called ‘Aussie spirit’, and why I’m so proud to be Australian.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Awards. Go to https://dugaldsaunders.com.au/celebrate-the-seniors-making-our-region-thrive/ for more information.