In Australia, today, the 21 March 2018 marks Harmony Day. It is a day to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, based on the successful integration of migrants into our community.
It’s about ‘inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values’.
I was born in Australia, as were my parents and my grandparents. My great grandparents came out from Ireland and Germany. Somewhere along the line, we were convicts. Lawbreakers. Strong, tough and stoic is how I like to think of them. Survivors. And so too are the millions of others who have come to this country. Whether they have immigrated here, fled here, found asylum here or have taken up residency here, the Australian make-up is a mixed and diverse one. And it is one in which we should be incredibly proud. As the original custodians and owners of the land, Aboriginals play a significant and important role in our nations history and cultural diversity.
We may come from a myriad of places, have different cultural and linguistic backgrounds yet what unites us more than ever before is our common belief system. Our core set of Australian values. Our friendliness, our inclusiveness, our acceptance for all.
For me, when I think of Australian values, I think of freedom. Of speech, of education, of religion. Freedom to love whomever you like, regardless of gender. To have your say, without fear of retribution or reprisal.
The Commonwealth Games are approaching and nothing makes me prouder than being an Aussie is when I watch our greatest sportsmen and women compete for our country. They have sweated and bled for Australia. Put every aspect of their being into doing the best they can for us as a nation. And when our anthem finally plays and our flag rises the highest, above all others, the words: Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free are words which bring tears to my eyes. And as I look around at this remarkable country that we are so incredibly lucky to call home, I think ‘indeed we are’.
Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at