Monday, January 27, 2014

January 26. Day 26. Happy Australia Day

It is very hard to exactly put your finger on what it is to be Australian and what it is that makes this country great. In an increasingly global village we buy from the same shops, sing from the same song sheet and watch the same TV shows (probably while eating fast foods from the same fast food chains). But for all that sameness, Australians are not the same and that is worth celebrating. It is true that choosing the date of the first European settlement to mark Australia Day is going to be divisive and particularly offensive to Indigenous Australians. But it is also true that while January 26 may have originally been about white European Australia, the face of Australia celebrating today at South Bank showed that is not the Australia of today. There were people in turbans, saris and burqas. Aussie flag tattoos were on the faces of Chinese students and Polynesian grandmas who gathered by the pool or took in the free entertainment on offer. I'd like to think that is, in part, what makes Australia great. Everyone, no matter where they came from, can gather with their family and friends and safely enjoy the entertainment on offer in the great Australian outdoors. You don't even have to like Vegemite (although it helps). So Happy Australia Day to Australians old and new. However you choose to celebrate the day, I hope it was a good one.


  1. "This country shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race."
    John Curtin

    "But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

    "But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people."

    "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth."

    Australia is, and will remain forever, a European nation. What makes Australia great is the tenacity and will that my ancestors were granted by God in taming a hostile, burnt, and beautiful land.

  2. I often draw parallels with Britain's culture to Australia's. Britain has a hugely diverse culture, especially south Wales where I'm from as we had big immigration during the 1950s from the Mediterranean, India, China etc. I love living in this culture of different religious events being part of the mainstream. This week The Boy and I are going to celebrate Chinese New Year with some arts and crafts, and he has never blinked an eye about the potential perceived differences because he doesn't see any. I imagine that Australia is similar to Britain in the diversity, and that is wonderful.

    In Wales we have St. David's Day which is a celebration of all things Welsh, they don't have any form of celebrations to the same level in England. I think that embracing a nation's heritage while acknowledging the way it has evolved because of other nations is amazing.

    I'm afraid I must disagree with the above (anonymous) commenter, Australia is great because of the way that it has amalgamated the cultures of the people who lived in it, we have moved on somewhat from 'taming the savages'.

    1. Oh, pardon me "TheBoyandMe". Pardon me for trying to uphold the ideals that sustained by ancestors for two hundred years in one of the hardest lands in the world. Wales would be much better off if it was Welsh, England would be better off if it was English, and Australia would be better off if it kept the unique Anglo-Celtic ethnicity that has sprung up here.

  3. Wonderful photos as usual Susan showing the essence of a great day of celebrations and a united community to celebrate a great country. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  4. Great photos! Happy Australia Day!

  5. Love love love this post! Miss Australia so much!

  6. what a beautiful day, one in which there is lots to celebrate about the amazing culture xx

  7. What a beautiful day! I love your photographs, especially the girl with the beach ball - it reminds me that the cold weather we are having will surely end one day! Happy Australia Day!

  8. Fabulous photos Susan - always love seeing them! I hope you all had a great Australia Day. Awesome country, lived there for 2 years in the 90's!! Love your photos in The Boy and Me's 365 profile by the way, brilliant :)

  9. Lovely photos Susan, they really show the pride in the celebration. Also, like Charly, loved your 365 profile :)