Today there will be thousands of gatherings where Australians will celebrate our country. We’ll gather together at breakfasts, BBQs, picnics, surf carnivals, and flag raisings and reflect on the country that we are and the people we have become.
Though there will be a lightheartedness in so many places, our celebration is one that understands the textures of our Australian story. A story of strength and resilience that spans 65,000 years, of a continent that we love and contend with, and of a free and fair people who live in relative harmony.
Today as part of our celebrations, over 16,000 people, in over 400 locations, from more than 130 nations, will become Australian citizens, adding their own talents, strengths and hopes to our shared national fabric. It is a reminder that Australia is the most successful multi-cultural and multi-faith nation on Earth.
On this Australia Day, we also reflect on what it means to be Australian during the extraordinary times that we live in. While our journey has not been perfect, Australia is emerging from a once in a century pandemic with one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID and with one of the strongest advanced economies in the world. Combined with one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, Australia is well set up to secure our recovery.
We have faced the most difficult challenges in three quarters of a century and worked together delivering what has been an extraordinary national achievement.
Through this time, there has also been a realisation of what is truly important - our health, our family, our friends, our jobs, our communities and our sovereignty as a free people.
There’s been a clarity as well with a renewed understanding about what we can accomplish as a people.
Australians have a quiet confidence. It’s a confidence to do what is right and a confidence in each other.
Today, on this Australia Day, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude for a history that spans 65,000 years; a continent of unmatched beauty and wonder; a democratic tradition that is the foundation of our freedom; and the multicultural and multi-faith communities that add so much to our national life.
Above all, I’m grateful for the Australian people, whose character, determination and heart inspire me every day.
We have much to be thankful for. Happy Australia Day!
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia