Australia Day 26th January is a day to celebrate all things great in our wonderful country. From the many street parties, beach cricket, cockroach races, thong throwing, backyard barbies, to the official Australia Day Celebrations, we can all salute this day in our own Aussie style.
The Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony held in Brisbane City Hall will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck with the traditional aboriginal dance, perhaps an indigenous dreamtime story if you are lucky and the “I Am Australian” song being played and what would a celebration be without a rendition of “Waltzing Matilda” . It’s a day when many new immigrants pledge their allegiance to their newly adopted country - Australia.
Queensland Government House opens its gates for all to visit this historic building and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful grounds; you might just get to see the Queensland Light Horse Brigade. The pomp and ceremony of the Flag Raising held at Southbank in Brisbane, is also a sight to behold!
It’s also the day when we celebrate the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards. We also recognise the many artists who have put Australia on the world stage, from our great actors, Geoffrey Rush, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman, our writers Colleen McCullough and Tim Winton, playwrights David Williamson and Ray Lawler, our musicians ACDC, and who can forget those wonderful INXS concerts and of course The Wiggles. Our many famous indigenous artists including Albert Namatjira and Gordon Bennett and painters Arthur Boyd AC OBE (Australian of the Year in 1995), Jeffrey Smart, Charles Blackman, the list goes on. As Peter Allen proudly said "We still call Australia home".
We recognise the natural owners of this great land, the Indigenous people. Many came to our shores before the English finally landed, but there has only been one successful landing in Australia by an Englishman called Cook....... his name was James, certainly not Alastair!!!!!
Many nationalities have followed, bringing with them many of their cultures that now make up this great multicultural nation of ours, all living in harmony as one.
So from the back of Burke to Alice Springs, Broome, Broken Hill, Birdsville to Brisbane and all over Australia, in our thongs, togs and boardies or frocking up in our best Aussie gear, whatever you do, wherever you are, get out there and wave those flags this Australia Day and celebrate as a nation together.
Happy Australia Day!