There is (and should be) a long running debate about what is the most appropriate date to celebrate our nation; whether it is the start of white colonisation or some other day of significance in the calendar.
But if that date in 1788 now carries many troubled associations there is nevertheless in the broader implications of such a day, whenever it is scheduled, many things worth celebrating.
Just as citizenship ceremonies reflect the modern Australia and its success as a welcoming nation, Australia Day honours reflect an aspect of where the country is now; its achievements and achievers. That is to say, if not celebrating Australia Day then celebrating Australians.
These lists make up a varied sweep of the nation. For Ballarat readers our many recipients tell human stories of the people who often in an unheralded way make an enormous difference to our community; ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
And that is an Australian story.
In many ways then a day to celebrate these people has real value.
If the glitter and spectacle of the fireworks is a loud way of celebrating quiet achievers then for at least one day of the year they are worth making a noise about.
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