Mayor’s Desk

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Rachel. by Cr Rachel Cham­bers

I grew up lov­ing Aus­tralia Day as it meant I got an ex­tra day off school, not that I prob­a­bly needed one after 6 weeks off. It was a day my par­ents also stayed home from work and we got to­gether with friends and fam­ily for a great Aussie BBQ com­plete with snags, tomato sauce, beer, cricket, mozzies and dou­ble plug­gers. Back then, his­tory books didn’t have any men­tion of an in­va­sion so I never gave a sec­ond thought to what other peo­ple may think of a day com­mem­o­rat­ing the first land­ing by Cap­tain Arthur Phillip. Nowa­days, I have ac­cepted that Aus­tralia Day means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple and we all have the free­dom of choice to spend it in dif­fer­ent ways, just as we do Christ­mas Day and other days like it. So to­day, what­ever you de­cide to do, whether you are a new cit­i­zen or have had the priv­i­lege of be­ing born in this coun­try, re­mem­ber be­ing an Aus­tralian means you have un­lim­ited op­por­tu­nity and po­ten­tial. For many peo­ple around the world, this is not the case. It means you are free to­move around a coun­try where bor­ders are lit­tle more than signs which of­fer a photo op­por­tu­nity. You are free to have an opin­ion and openly speak about it. You have a right to vote and also to be elected to serve. You have the priv­i­lege of free ed­u­ca­tion and a health­care sys­tem avail­able to all. You are part of a coun­try who val­ues and works to­wards equal­ity. You live in a coun­try with clean wa­ter and wide open spa­ces where you can still see the stars at night and the sky dur­ing the day. For many peo­ple around the world these things can only be dreamt of. This truly is one lucky coun­try. Talk soon,

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