Posted by Susanne Gervay
on Jan 26, 2011 in News
| 0 comments
Australia Day means barbeques in every corner of the country from Melbourne, Perth, backyards everywhere to The Hughenden across the road from Centennial Parklands Sydney which is awash with sausages cooking, flags and community.
The Shire of Wakool, in the Riverina District is sheep and rice country with some cattle, orchards, in the South West corner of New South Wales. They have just ended 12 years of severe drought. There are the floods now, but the land is green and beautiful and the floods are receding.
I spoke on the banks of the Edwards River at the breakfast barbeque at Moulamein.
I acknowledged the traditional owners past & present – the Wamba Wamba nation, Woolworths who sponsors all the Ambassadars, the Australia Day Council of NSW , the Mayor and community of the Shire.
Mayor Rod Chalmers led the breakfast ceremony on the banks of beautiful Murray River under our gum trees.
Australia has experienced it worst floods in Queensland. Victoria has lost homes and farmlands. Everyone at the ceremony has been impacted by the floods & people who couldn’t be there were at the floods sand-banking rivers and helping evacuate.
However it was a time to celebrate our nation, so the snags were cooking and the Mayor led the affirmation:-
As an Australian citizen
I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people
Whose democractic beliefs I share
Whose rights and liberties I respect
And whose laws I uphold and obey.
I had the privilege of addressing the community here and later in Wakool, about how we are all one nation coming from all over the the world to find home here. I told the story of my parents’ journey as post WW11 & post-commuist Hungarian refugees who rebuilt their lives and family here. We have all found home.
For a podcast & transcipt of part of the journey of my family’s migration on ABC National Radio- Perspective:-
I wish my parents could have been there but I know they are in spirit.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!!