Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Australia Day 2012

Tomorrow is Australia Day, the day in 1788 when the British Navy fleet of 11 ships landed in what is now called Botany Bay near Sydney, New South Wales.

I've often tried to imagine what it must have felt like to have been sent from your homeland to travel for months to some part of the world about which nobody knew very much at all. If things turned bad at any part of the voyage, it wasn't as if you could jump on the next Emirates airplane and head home within hours. Many of those who arrived in Australia would never have seen their homeland again. There were no houses, no hospitals, no schools, just three million odd square miles of native scrub and of course the original inhabitants, the First Australians who had arrived from Africa thousands of years earlier.

It could have been the Japanese, Dutch, Portugese, French or perhaps a handful of other nations' people that arrived to take over Terra Australis. Whoever it was would no doubt have created the same negative impact on the native occupants, but we are indeed fortunate that our roots are British. From the "Old Country" we inherited a robust system of law, democracy and governance that has served us well for the past 200 years and will serve us well for a bit longer until it is subsumed by a foreign totalitarian regime that is working to undermine Australian values as I write. Our failing is that we are too democratic and too nice.

The British flag (Union Jack) on our flag shows our roots; the Southern Cross the star pattern visible in the Southern Hemisphere. The Federation Star, directly below the Union Jack has a point for each of our States and a point for the two Territories, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

For the first time in years we have nothing planned for tomorrow, but when we wake up we will no doubt have a breakfast of fruit juice, pikelets, golden syrup, coffee, and reflect on how very fortunate we are to have been born Australian.