Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Luckiest Country

Plenty to be grateful for on Australia Day. Let's celebrate our diversity, remember that we have a responsibility to protect the weak, look after our aged and infirm; we have the right to work hard and to accumulate wealth not just for the sake of it but because it is one symbol of success. 

But we should remember that wealth is not just reflected in money or possessions, it comes with the respect of family, friends and colleagues, with the knowledge that we live in a place where we don't need to go hungry, or sleep rough, where despite the odd harshness there is always a sunny day ahead, despite flood, the rains end, and after the fires the bush comes back. 

I am proudly descended from Irish Catholic convicts, from northern Irish Orangemen, from English blacksmiths and Scottish farmers, from Welsh Normans and before them Vikings. In this country one branch of my ancestors has been here for more than 40,000 years, and 10,000 years before that my father's fathers line was in Tanzania. My connections with this country and with people around the world are growing daily and I thank whatever God there is that I had the good fortune to be born in this land at this time. 

Thank you friends and family for your connection. Thank you to those who are absent and away from home - you know who and where you are - and know that I'm thinking of you. Let us all never forget that we are the luckiest people born in the luckiest country and hope that however we choose to celebrate that we can do it in peace for many more years to come.

Keep safe, stay true, be loved.
Happy Australia Day