Today is Australia Day, a cause for rejoicing.
On this day 10 years ago, I became an Australian citizen, standing beside dozens of others of many nations to joyfully swear allegiance and receive the rights and privileges of Australian citizenship.
For me, today is a day to reflect and be thankful that I have come home, whilst others celebrate their national day with cricket, barbecues, going to the beach or the pub, dressing in national colours, and other forms of Aussie relaxation.
If you’re not Australian and are wondering why there are two flags, the first is the official flag of Australia, and the second is the flag of the Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of this land. There’s a lot of discussion about changing our flag so that it reflects our colonial past less and acknowledges the land’s traditional owners more. As a comparative newcomer, I am staying out of the argument, but I do see the value of an emblem which is less divisive and fosters unity instead of resentment.
I’m often asked why I came to Australia, and don’t I miss home. The answers are Because this was the only place I’d ever truly felt at home and understood, and No, this is home.
Back in 2013, I published a post featuring a poem by Dorothea McKellar about love of this country. I leave you with a link to it, as she expresses it so much better than I do.
Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing today, have a ripper of a day, mate.