Besides the passionate, fluent, captivating and poetic way this blog “On Longing and a Sense of Home ” was written, what made it so amazing was the fact that Kristen is a born and breed citizen of the United States Of America. That’s right, Australia isn’t even her birth country and yet there is more love and respect in her blog for Australia than you hear from most Australians here in Australia.
I would highly recommend you take the time to read Kristen’s blog ( linked above ) and also to take the time to read through her site “ Wanderlust ” as her writing skills and views are never anything but entertaining and enlightening.
With Kristen’s blog about her longing love for Australia, Kristen got me thinking about what it is that I love about Australia, what was it exactly that made me want to stand up in a crowd and yell to the world that “ I love my country ”. It also go me thinking about what dangers are currently facing my country and my fears for her long term.
Before I do that though I’d like to tell you about my Australia, from the view point of a country born and breed Queenslander. I was born in a large mining town called Mt Isa in central northern Queensland. Now Mt Isa is anything but a mountain, it is flat, dry, hot and red soil. While the city of Mt Isa is fully self sufficient it does revolve around the Mt Isa Mines. Life in Mt Isa is pretty simple as most mining towns are, work hard play hard. As for me, well there must be a lot to the old saying that “ You can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy ” because we moved away from Mt Isa when I was 5 and I have live nearly all my life in Brisbane, the capital city of the state of Queensland. Even now at 42 years of age I am never more at home then when I am up in the gulf country or west of the Great Divide Mountain Range where at times you are lucky to find a living soul within 100km. There is something magical and demanding of the solitude and honesty of remote living.
Having said all of that I’ve decided to write a list of things that make me both want to jump up in a crowd and yell to the world that “ I love my country ” and at other times step up with blood boiling to defend Australia and our Australian way.
I love my ancient sunburnt country with her rugged tropical mountain ranges of the north to her southern snow capped peaks of Victoria and Tasmania.
I wonder at the beauty of her coastlines as the sun rises over the Great Barrier Reef of Tropical North Queensland past the shear weather worn cliffs of the Victorian Great Ocean Road and across the Mighty Nullarbor Plains before setting like a glowing gem over the Magical Western Australian coast.
I love her freedom, her ethics of equality for all, I admire that she opens her arms to all who are in genuine need and I respect the way that she stands her ground proud and brave when the needs arise.
I respect the fact that our beautiful country allows us to believe in a God of our own choosing, voice our opinions freely and openly, protest march in the streets for our beliefs and rights and vote for who WE want to govern our country all without persecution or threat to life.
I marvel at her wealth, both in natural resources and in cultivated resources. I stand proud of her industrial achievements, her scientific discoveries and solid strong work ethic.
I smile at our Multi-Cultural society and defend the rights of all to their beliefs. I encourage them to share their culture with me and my country ( please do not hide it away ).
But please do not try to change this beautiful country to that from which you came, there must have been a reason that you left YOUR country of birth, isn’t that reason argument enough for us to stay the same.
I believe we are now independent without forgetting from where we came, respecting both our English and our Dutch ancestry. We stand proud of our short but rich history and acknowledge our mistakes of the past without fear of moving forward as a united country to stand strong on the international stage as a young teenager steps out to discover a clear and proud voice.
And with each new generation we grow stronger in respect for our First Ones as old stale ways turn to dust with age and blow away on the free breeze.
We stand equal with the worlds nations in an age of uncertainty and fear both ready to shoulder our share of the burden as well as to lead the way with hope.
In short, we are a country of Freedom, Equality & Justice, a country that is Generous and Open, and we are Proud of both who we are and this beautiful ancient land.
To borrow a line from a very famous song in Australia, " We are one, But we are many and from all the land on earth we come, we share a dreams but sing with one voice, I am - You are - We are Australians."