Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Thats right folks, its Australia's national holiday and a time to celebrate and be thankful to our Aboriginal brothers for providing such a safe and glorious place to live.
With the lowest unemployment in decades, inflation under control and interest rates set to remain low, this is an Australia Day on which the phrase "lucky country" can finally be spoken without irony.Our current prosperity is the reward for hard-won reforms that involved many painful adjustments along the way but have resulted in an Australia whose economic performance is regarded with awe and envy across the world. While successive governments have enabled the transformation of the way the nation goes about its business, they have not created the rosy conditions we now enjoy: credit for that belongs to the innovative managers and hardworking employees who over the past two decades have performed a productivity miracle, extracting ever more value from the resources available. That said, Australians won't spend today meditating on the economic statistics: forehand winners from Lleyton Hewitt and runs off the bat of Adam Gilchrist will be enough number-crunching for most of us. And while a national day of celebration marked more by hedonism than patriotism might confuse a few overseas visitors, this is exactly how it should be. A new ethos of competition and hard work has driven our country to new heights in recent years, but this should not be at the expense of the earlier ethos of knowing how to kick back and have a good, relaxing time – whether it is by watching our international sportsmen and women taking on the world's best, exploiting the wonders of our beaches and national parks, or simply enjoying a barbecue with the family. Because whatever else it means, Australia Day also means that soon enough we will all be back at work or back to school.
There is another Australian ethos that has survived the rise of greater self-reliance in economic affairs, and that is reaching out a hand to a friend or neighbour in distress. Tragically, once again, this facet of the Australian character has manifested itself in a bushfire drama. Nine people died in the fires that swept through the lower Eyre Peninsula in South Australia earlier this month, but as usual the extraordinary efforts of our volunteer emergency service workers forestalled an even greater loss of life. For a real demonstration of the Australian spirit of pitching in and lending a hand, however, it would be hard to go past the extraordinary flow of assistance towards the victims of the tsunamis that devastated south Asia. Those commentators who have contrasted our generosity towards tsunami victims with what they see as a growing selfishness and materialism in Australian life have rather missed the point: it is precisely because we are doing so well that $1 billion in government assistance and a further $200 million or so in private donations were made possible. Adelaide's Catholic archbishop Philip Watson may equally have missed the mark yesterday when he spoke of Australia's "national schizophrenia" and contrasted our tsunami goodwill with the treatment of asylum-seekers. In fact, with an ever-growing immigration program, and within it a refugee program that is among the world's most generous, Australia's concern with the bona fides of those who come here as migrants or refugees is anything but schizophrenic. It is part of another longstanding ethos – the fair go. Today, in naturalisation ceremonies across the country, no fewer than 12,000 new Australians will testify to this country's welcoming spirit.
That's right, these folk have woken up this morning as Sth African's,American's,English etc and yet will go to bed as Aussies!
Australia Day Honors this year have covered academics,sports people,politicians and those from everyday walks of life who selflessly give up their time and efforts to help others.
Dr. Fiona Wood, plastic surgeon, wife and mother of 6 is the Austrlalia of the Year. She is the only plastic surgeon in Western Australia, invented the "spray on skin" for burns victims in the Bali bombings.......what a woman.

So i shall celebrate my gratitude to be living in the best country on earth by having a good ole traditional bbq on the beach.



Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Hi Michelle, I hope you had a terrific celebration. I learned so much from your post. I wasn't aware that Jan.26 was Australia's B-day! I'm not sure if I thanked you already, so I'd rather thank twice than not at all: My daughter and I appreciate you stopping by to see her artwork and your nice comments.
My husband has visited your lovely country and was entranced. I hope to some day.

1:58 PM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

That was a nice tribute to a great country!
Lois Lane

2:51 AM  
Blogger gemmak said...

Happy Birthday :o)

8:07 AM  
Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

congratulations! my dad's birthday is the 26th also, so australia is cool by association...or maybe that's the other way around. happy b-day oz.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

G.E.L ~ I hope we folk down under showed your hubby a good time, come on down we'd love to have you!

Lois ~ Why, TY Miss Lane

Gem ~ Taaa Gem :)

Hammer ~ by association....i'm gonna use that!

4:47 PM  

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