Australia Day is a day for all Australians to celebrate what is great about our nation. It is a day for all of us to come together as equals and give thanks that we live in the greatest country on earth.


January 26 is our national day, and we should celebrate all the great things about being Australian and welcome new members to the Australian family.


It is no accident that Australia is the most successful multicultural nation; we are home to people from all over the world who live peacefully side-by-side.


Just like every family we have our disagreements, but we have held together through wars, pandemics, and depressions because we respect our differences, and embrace our connections.


It is the people that make Australia great.


Tomorrow we welcome every person who makes the commitment to become an Australian. We open our country, our culture, and our history to you. And we add your country, your culture, and your history to the story of Australia.


As a citizen of Australia, I encourage you to “have a go”. Get involved in your local community, join a club, engage with the issues that affect you and your family, vote in elections. That is what it means to be Australian.


Whether you became an Australian today or the day you were born, it is also a time to reflect on our country’s history. We acknowledge Indigenous Australia and the world’s longest-surviving culture; we are thankful for their stewardship and recognise their 60,000 plus years of history.


We should also understand that January 26 can be seen through a different lens by Indigenous Australians.


We can and should acknowledge our history and imperfections as we celebrate the things that make us proud to be Australian.


We are a nation of givers and doers.


We have made scientific discoveries and inventions that have changed the world for the better. Our art makes people laugh and cry. We love a game, and we play it fair. Australians stand up for their mates and the right thing to do.


Tomorrow we pay the greatest tribute to the unsung Australians who give back to their communities.


Australia is a great nation because of the volunteers who give freely of themselves: the meals on wheels drivers, the school council members, the coaches, the blood donors, and the fundraisers.


If we are a lucky country, it’s because the harder we work the luckier we get.


So, I say to all Australians, be proud of what we have achieved and who we are and have a happy Australia Day.

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