I'm a little ashamed. Not of the pictures of my son in drag that I am going to post tomorrow, but of the frivolous nature of most of my recent posts in general.
|Happy with Merle and Don in Mapleton.|
I want you all to like me.
And so I plan to write about learning to serve that cuppa properly and how to bake scones and meat pies.
Because I want to be like you. Because I love it here.
|Aunt Merle and Uncle Don|
I cry because I realise that I don't have a right to celebrate Australia Day.
Because I find I've been kidding myself.
It is a privilege to be here, one I might not be entitled to.
It breaks my heart, not only for me but for the four children I have promised can be Aussies and stay here forever.
|The boys with cousin Sol|
And, again, I am reminded of how lucky I am. (Although, in the end, I will be flying to NZ for two days in March with five children, we will get those permanent visas after all.)
I am a migrant, but I am not a refuge.
I am desperate to call Australia home and to give my children the privilege of being citizens of the luckiest country in the world.
|Uncle Don letting the boys take a breather on the trail!|
But not as desperate as those who risk their lives, and their children's lives on it.
Not as desperate as those whose lives would be put in danger just by returning to their former countries.
Really puts those rainy German summers in perspective, doesn't it?
On Australia Day, be proud. Be proud because you are part of the greatest country in the world. But be proud too that it IS a nation of migrants, a nation still struggling with the aftereffects of colonialisation on its indigenous people, a nation born of many nations, European, Asian, African, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist.
|Sol, ever the gentleman, escorting Ryan and Aunt Merle|
On Australia Day, be aware of how lucky you are if you have been born here. And realise that all most migrants want is to have the privilege to be like you.
The first people to Australia came on boats tens of thousands of years ago.
A second, invading, wave, came on boats a mere two hundred odd years ago.
And more arrive today.
|Our tickets to stay!|
Let Australia as a nation be strong enough to accept our diverse histories to build a common future.
Let us recognise that who we are, as a people and as a nation, lies not in where we come from but in where we go from here.