It's Australia Day today.
I have never really celebrated the day. In general, I don't think the Australian people are zealously and demonstrably patriotic in the way that you might see in other countries.
In the past, Australia Day has meant a day off and maybe the Big Day Out.
In more recent times, I've felt there's a cultural cringe attached to Aussies celebrating Australia Day . I can't see a ute with the southern cross sticker on the back windscreen without thinking it's being driven by a bogan redneck. And unfortunately, I now link outward Aussie pride with the Cronulla riots. Which is a shame. And misplaced given that there are many people who celebrate Australia Day who also support opening our borders to people of all nationalities. Many people just celebrate because it's worth celebrating. And it really is.
Now that I have children, I have come to appreciate how deeply I won the lotto just by being born in this country. And that my children have won that same lotto. The world is a big and complicated place. And I know so very little about so much of the conflict, next to nothing about the suffering that people endure within their homelands, especially women.
So today, perhaps for the first time, I reflected on what it meant to be Australian. What it meant to me that my children have been born Australian. How privileged we are to live with such freedom and such opportunity. And, oh man, the beaches. The beaches are ace.
We spent the day with dear friends. We chucked some snags on the barbie (with grilled turkish bread on the side – Oi Oi Oi!), drank beer and ate lamingtons.
And the kids ran and played in the massive back yard.
Lucky is an understatement.
Happy Australia Day.