On Australia Day we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: our sense of fair go, our diversity and lifestyle, our cohesive society, our democracy and the freedoms we enjoy, our resilience and generosity in the face of adversity and our unwavering community spirit that has always been a part of our national character.
Australia owes much of its nation’s success to our shared values of respect for freedom of the individual, democracy, commitment to the rule of law and equality for all individuals regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, fairness, respect and tolerance.
Today gives us pause to reflect on the past, present and future – to think about where we have been and where we are going as a nation. It’s a day to listen to each other and respect each other’s stories and contributions. And it’s a day to celebrate our extraordinary nation, its achievements and, most of all, its people.
Australia Day is a day for all Australians and is a time for all Australians to come together to reflect, respect and celebrate.
2020 will be a particularly poignant Australia Day as we reflect on a tough summer. It has been a summer that reminded us of our love of country – embodied by our people, our fauna and flora. Our country in her beauty can also presents harsh challenges – fire, flood and drought.
This Australia Day, we pay tribute to the selflessness and courage of thousands of paid and volunteer firefighters and emergency services who have been fighting the nation’s bushfires, protecting communities, tending to wildlife and supporting the bushfire relief and recovery efforts and we celebrate the countless more volunteers who have and continue to support communities devastated by fire.
This Australia Day, more than ever before, we reflect on the resilience of communities and the spirit of volunteerism and generosity that defines the Australian spirit.