Australia Day 2017

Firstly I want to acknowledge the first people to walk on this great country.

The original and aboriginal Australians.

I know that Australia Day is also the day that changed everything for your ancestors.

I empathise with that feeling.

I do so by imagining what that would feel like for me.

I love this country deeply.

I have such a strong and proud heritage within it.

A grazing heritage.

My original family are grass roots, Kings in Grass Castles (see book of same title), arid country adversity dwellers – we were and still are  people of the mulga in far south west Queensland.

White yes but bush nevertheless.

 And for the last hundred years or so.

“Pitherty” my ancestral home at 100,000 acres and still in our family is a cut off paddock of Tinnenburra (which boasted  the largest shearing stand in Australia) and my great grandfather and his twin brother managed.

So I know what it is to feel proud and part of.

And how destructive it would be if some ursurper came to claim our heritage, our country – and turn it into something else.

Something which many Australians feel as they look into the future and argue over things like refugees and foreign policy.

But this is not a day for politics

This is a day to be proud.

To recognise roots.

To love.

And to feel grateful.

I am proud of Australia’s diversity and opportunity.

I have read – of late – stories of refugees.

A few.

I would like to read many more.

But to read even one is to witness and allow.

It is to accept.

That these are people, humans just like us and to feel humbled, shamed by small and petty worries like

How much will they take?

How will this affect us?

For we – we are a privelledged bunch in this great southern land

This island of peace and plenty 

Not much is the answer to how much

And the return is enormous 

That is the answer.

In case you’re still asking what do they take and what do we receive.

I was in Hughenden last year

A tiny town in diddly squat Australia


In the middle of nowhere

I was participating in a race – the Porcupine Challenge.

I was tired afterwards.

And hungry 

To my surprise 

I found a Chinese restaurant

In this speck of an iota of a dot on a map of a place

The menu was four pages long (in very small type font)

The food was amazing the variety overwhelming. 

Behind the counter the woman of obviousky Asian descent  that served me when I finally figured out what I wanted to eat -(the variety sent me into a dither)

Were photos

Photos of her children graduating university

The pride

The love


She was an Aussie

So were they

So was


And today

I am so proud 

To be 

An Australian

I grew up with Aboriginals

I know them

Know their wit

Their humour

Tenacity and strengths


As I know I have many too

In this great country

We truly are the land of plenty

I cannot apologise for something which I have not done 

But I do understand you



Am proud of you

My Australians

You may be original or just came yesterday 

Now we number many

We have been invaded



Many times

And by many nationalities

Not just white

We are brindle

Like pig dog mongrels

I like them




Mongrel eyes

Softened by gratitude

Humbled with love

All fitting in 


Having a go 

We are a culture spread




Around the edges

You can peer at 

I don’t have to


Like you

Am an Australian people

I walked from the time I can remember

On red soil 

Hot beneath my feet

Smelt the eucalypt leaf

And searched for rain on the horizon

Your joys

Your pains

Your hard won gains

Your change of politicians

Are mine

We are all one

Just Australian people 


Happy Australia Day

To my our Australian people
Below is the Australia Day award ceremony for the main event – Australian of the year  – dodgy video captured from my couch – I hoped for Deng after reading his book but then I heard the other stories and was just glad for any of them.

They are all worthy.
Gratitude and pride for my own countrymen/women in our national celebration tomorrow  Jan 26th is a welcome relief to the global concerns of late.

We are all connected globally.

Nationally that love gets a little more intimate and a lot less stressful.

As a whole – I think we need to think globally, act locally to ensure that change for the better occurs. 

For everyone.

Congratulations to all the recipients and nominated in tonight’s Australia Day awards. 

The header photo is my bike on my last trip out west a couple of months ago riding the roads I love best in outback Australia.

 Two days to go and am back on it (the bike) again and travelling through this amazing country where I’m safe as a solo female rider, free and happy  – cannot wait and feel so blessed.

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