Australia Day means many different things to many different people.
Whatever we have for lunch on Australia Day, whether it’s a barbequed steak, lamb on a spit, or vindaloo, Australia Day is a great chance to come together to celebrate what it is to be an Australian in a stable and prosperous nation.
Australia Day is a time to recognise and respect our proud Aboriginal brothers and sisters, the first Australians, and acknowledge their Elders past, present and future.
For another person, 26 January is the day they make their way to the local Town Hall to stand before the Mayor in a citizenship ceremony. They may have been born elsewhere, but have now decided to make a permanent commitment to becoming an Australian.
It is the diversity these people bring to Australia that makes us a stronger and richer nation.
Others may look at the Australian flag and be reminded of those throughout our relatively short history who have fought and died for our freedom.
We may also think of the thousands of volunteers who give their time to make our communities a better place, including those brave men and women who are battling the devastating bushfires that ravaged parts of our state this summer.
Australia Day is a time to think about our youth and thank our older generations for passing on the wisdom and knowledge these young people will need in years to come.
As we celebrate Australia Day I encourage you to remember that we are all able to make a contribution to our great country and to a fulfilling and prosperous future.
Hon Victor Dominello MP
Minister for Citizenship and Communities