I would like to start by first recognising and paying respect to the past, present and future leaders of the Aboriginal community and the Aboriginal people will and forever remain as the spiritual custodian of our beautiful land of Australia.
26 January marks an important day in the nation’s history. It is the day our nation comes together to celebrate the formation of this great nation. Over the years we have shaped our own unique cultures. On Australia Day, we gather together with family and mates. We turn on the barbie and have sausage sizzlers, share a beer or two and enjoy a restful day at the beach. We are one lucky nation, blessed with abundant of beautiful pristine beaches and coastlines like no others in the world. We are one lucky nation, blessed with some of the best people in the world. We can sit together with different people of various cultural backgrounds and bond over beers, sausages and meat pies with tomato sauce (because we can). This nation has so much to celebrate and to laud.
I am so proud to call Australia my home now. I believe as we step into the new year, there are still so many things we need to achieve together. Today I reaffirm my stand in education equality. We need to continue to fight against cuts towards schools and research institutes. We need a government that will continue to fund schools and universities. We need to continue to close the gap between metropolitan and country students. We need to inspire students from all walks of life – that education is essential and that education will help anyone to change their life and break away from poverty cycle. We still have a lot of work to do, to raise the numeracy and literacy skills among young Australians. We still need to work hard to encourage and help more students to further their education. The list goes on and on. Education equality is an important agenda we should not neglect.
Today, I am still proud to celebrate Australia Day and my country.
Today, I am proud of our multicultural and harmonious society.
Tomorrow, we have more work to do to better our country.
Tomorrow, we will make our country better for our future generations.
Happy Australia Day 2017!