Monday, January 28, 2013


Once again Australia Day has been and gone ..... January 26th .... the day our nation was founded.  Controversy is ever present when people talk about Australia Day and this year was no exception in that there was talk of changing it to Citizen's Day.  Controversy will always surround our country, as we speak of the fact that Aboriginals were the original people that inhabited this land.  They were the people that lived nomadic lives and wandered this great country.  We have much to learn from these people and I personally feel we should respect their true culture and nature.

This lead me to think about being an Australian and what it means to me.  I feel blessed to have been born in this wonderful country.  As I travelled recently by car from Adelaide to Melbourne and back, I marvelled at not only the beauty of this country, but also the variations in the colour of the surroundings.  Two paddocks alongside each other, one filled with lush greenery and the other brown and dry.  Such a contradiction.

I see what is happening here in Australia at the moment and read and hear of the terrible flooding in Queensland and then hear about Bushfires in another part of the country.

I love Australia and the fact that I was born here.  I am ever grateful that I live in a free nation.  That I live in a place where I have freedom of speech, not that I've ever been truly outspoken, but just that I am able to say what I feel and not be put away in prison for saying it.  I love that I can walk the streets and know that I will be relatively safe.  That I do not fear being gunned down in the street.  That I do not fear religious persecution and that I am able to worship freely and as I see fit.

Whilst there are still people struggling within this country, for the majority there is the opportunity to better themselves.  Often lack of motivation is mistaken for lack of opportunity and for the most part there is an opportunity to get ahead.  Not everyone will agree with me, but that's the way I see it for the most part.

I am proud to be an Australian .... not proud in a conceited way .... but proud in as much as I love this country and love that it is what it is ... a diverse and beautiful nation with much to be grateful for.

When I was younger one of the poems that I read and loved and at one point knew most of by heart was "My Country" by Dorothea Mackellar and I think it aptly describes all that makes our country what it is today .... a harsh and at times unforgiving land, but with a beauty that is second to none.

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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