January 26th 1788 was the day the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay. Not that they stayed there too long there as the water was brackish and they pushed on into Sydney Cove. January 26th is our national day and unlike when I was a kid and it was just ‘another day at the beach’ today, it’s much more celebrated. Have Aussies got more patriotic over the last 40 years or have the ‘marketing gurus’ discovered that they can make money out of Australian Flags, Australian Flag aprons, hats, oven mitts….you get the picture! I think it is a bit of both.
For a VERY long time we lived under the shadow of the British. Post WW2 with wonderful migration we’ve become a truly multi-cultural soceity that has ‘grown up’ and we’ve developed our own style.
Today, around the nation, there will be BBQs and picnics, games of cricket, surfing and swimming. Families will come together, communities will come together and celebrate what being Australian is all about. For many, this Australia day will be fraught; flooded communities are grieving and cleaning up, understandably, the indigenous community don’t find it a day of celebration and for the asylum seeksers in detention it will be another day of wondering and hoping if next year they can celebrate Australia Day as citizens of Australia. It’s a day to celebrate and a day to reflect. The Australia Day Honours’ List is always inspiring.
What am I doing today? I’m working on revisions but the boys and my husband are spending the day in Sydney; the heart of where ‘new world’ Australia started. Have fun, guys!