Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, a cause for rejoicing.

Blue flag Aboriginal flagOn 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.


38 thoughts on “Australia Day

  1. claire93 says:

    happy Australia Day ^^

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you 🙂 I shall spend it cooking and sewing (no change there, then), and the Husband will be mowing (ditto!), but as I work, I’ll remember to be thankful for the life I have here…

  2. Emma says:

    Happy Australia Day!

  3. I love aboriginal art – a flag from the first nation would be a wonderful thing – c

    • katechiconi says:

      I agree, but it’s a very polarising and strongly-felt issue, and it seems everyone has an opinion. I’d like to see something that represents *everyone* properly.

      • manicmumdays says:

        I’m one who would love to see the flag change and reflect the traditional owners of this beautiful country. Quite a few years ago a friend of mine designed an alternative flag and had a campaign to change it. He gave me a couple of sticker versions – I will try to find one and take a photo. I think it marries both versions beautifully 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        I think something that doesn’t ‘belong’ to one group or another is a good idea. New Zealand’s currently investigating the idea of a whole new flag, and I think we should be doing the same. It’s an opportunity for people to really think about what this country means to them, for creativity to be exercised, and for inclusivity to triumph.

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    Happy Australia Day Kate. It’s a great day to celebrate diversity! It’s a great day to celebrate our home in this amazing country too.

  5. kathyreeves says:

    Happy Australia Day Kate!

  6. Happy Australia Day, and best wishes on your citizenship anniversary. I’d like to see a new flag reflecting our modern nation, and maybe new style of Australia Day ditto. We celebrate similarly, quietly but proudly without forgetting the history… all of it, and looking towards a brilliant future.

  7. Lynda says:

    Kate, moving far away is exciting and there are so many changes to enjoy. I once considered moving to Costa Rica but then Bob came with me on my third visit and found it all too primitive for his comfort. I still think I could have been happy… Then, later in our lives we traded in California for Alabama and I think the change in lifestyle is just as remarkable, although for different reasons, and certainly no one in California could understand why we did it.

    You on the other hand changed scenery but I’m guessing not entirely your lifestyle? Happy Australia Day! 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I changed scenery from London to Melbourne, and that was a change. Then Melbourne to country New South Wales, and that was going back to my roots, in a way. Now I live in the tropics, and I can safely say it’s a very big lifestyle change from London, particularly since it involved getting married 🙂 I haven’t regretted coming to Australia for one second of one day, I don’t miss the UK and my life there. I do miss friends and family, but thanks to the miracle of modern communications, I can stay in touch easily. I have much to be thankful for…

  8. tialys says:

    Happy Australia Day.
    I’ve lived in France for 11 years now but I still feel very English. We live in a beautiful part of France but if I were forced – at gunpoint – to choose between the two, I’d go back to England. I hope that scenario will never happen though!! I think a big part of it is the language difference. Even though my French isn’t too bad I can’t communicate in quite the same way as I can in my native tongue and that bothers me a bit sometimes. Having said all that, the U.K. is quite different to the one I left even though only a relatively short time has passed – although the weather is still mostly the same :/

    • katechiconi says:

      I can well understand that a long term inability to communicate with exactness would be a deterrent, and I’m lucky not to have that issue; I now speak fluent Aussie.
      As you say, though, the UK is a very different place from the one we left a decade ago, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to live there any more after the environment I enjoy here.

  9. craftycreeky says:

    Happy Australia Day 🙂
    My OH is Australian, though he’s lived over here for 40 years, we’ve got family over there so we try and get over every 2-3 years. He tries to tease me by saying we’re going to emigrate, I like visiting but I’d miss the seasons and the history (as well as family and friends!) I’ve compromised and said when we retire I’ll happily go out for January and February 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      You’ll want to avoid the tropics for your visits, then! Seriously, you’d feel quite at home in Tasmania for seasons, and as for history, well, the Aboriginals do have history going back 40,000 years, which is more than can be said for the UK – but I know what you mean. It’s the evidence of the past all around you in the buildings and landscape. I thought I’d miss it, but I don’t….

  10. Jule says:

    Happy Australis Day!

  11. Happy Anniversary!!!!!

    The Aboriginal flag is beautiful and evocative. We in the US have a long way to go toward acknowledging, as Aussies are now doing, that we’re living on First Peoples’ land. (But right now we’re in way more trouble due to Trump-ification than any flag might fix.)

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you 🙂 I could write a fair screed about the Trumpster, but will refrain, and simply turn off the sound whenever I hear him spouting divisive, hateful and intolerant crap.

  12. magpiesue says:

    So do you have dual citizenship? I have a friend from Britain who has lived here in the US for a couple of decades. She became an American citizen a good while back. In the last year or so she divorced her American husband, found a better man, and the two of them are moving to Great Britain!

    I agree, a more inclusive flag design sounds a good idea. I can also understand the divisions in opinion it raises. So sad that we humans can’t get along better.

    • katechiconi says:

      No, Australia allows me to retain my British citizenship too, so I have two passports. Handy, but expensive to maintain!
      The arguments of the First Peoples here are very valid, and while they don’t dispute the need to celebrate Australia and its achievements, they feel it should not occur on this particular day, when the British first set foot on their soil. I agree…

  13. magpiesue says:

    What a perfect anthem that poem is. I have a feeling if ever I set foot on Australian soil I would find it very hard to leave.

  14. Happy Australia-ness to you 🙂
    Re the flag: it’s a big issue, good luck with that! South Africa, previous world leader in land appropriation and colonial annexation and trampling over the rights of others, was obliged to come up with a nice new one 23 years ago.

  15. I’m a little late to wish you a Happy Australia Day. I’m quite far behind on my reading again. I have family that live there. It’s wonderful that there is a place suitable for everyone. But right now, many of us are thinking we may be looking for ways to emigrate as well. I keep my passport up to date just in case.

  16. dayphoto says:

    HAPPY Australia DAY!

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