AS patriotic as it is, Australia Day is becoming of even greater significance to the people of our nation.
It’s difficult to put a finger on just why there has been a uprising in community celebration and connectedness on our national day in recent years but it’s an issue worth exploring as we prepare to come together in Ballarat for the city’s biggest one-day event.
Some experts have theorised that the endless creation of man-made problems in the world, previously hidden are exposed daily in the digital age.
The economic woes of Europe, the battles in the Middle East, the shootings in the US have been constant reminders in the past 12 months of how, in relative terms, Australia remains the lucky country.
Heightened awareness also, that our country in this age of wars fought by stealth and underground cells rather than armies on the open plains, is a target for those fighting against the perceived exuberance of the West.
After the calamity of the September 11 attacks in New York, Australians were targeted in Bali.
If anything, the past decade has strengthened the resolve of Australians against terrorism, and against tragedy.
The Queensland floods, Cyclone Yasi, the Black Saturday bushfires are all tales of horrific loss yet tremendous community spirit. That we can overcome these tragedies where so many lives were lost and so much property damage is a tick to the fortitude which resonates as strongly now as it has ever in the past.
These events, so clearly relayed across the nation, have galvanised communities.
In this sense, Australia Day has become more than just a celebration of our foundation. It has become a rich tapestry of togetherness that is difficult to replicate, and describe.
Tomorrow we will celebrate our communities through sausage sizzles, speeches and recognition of the many great people who help keep our towns, cities and regions ticking.
People will come together to watch fireworks at our golden lake and tell tales with our friends and families in more private settings.
It will be done together. Because that’s what Australia Day really celebrates.