Australia is a vast and ancient landscape with distinctive plants, birdlife and animals. The southern position of this landmass was somehow missed by explorers making it one of the last to be discovered by Europeans. Australia has been inhabited by the Aboriginal people for at least sixty thousand years with an advanced cultural heritage in art, music, dance and spiritual communion with the natural world.

The indigenous people mastered survival in this often harsh land that they protected and sustain for millennia. A clash of opposing ideologies began the dawn of European settlement in Australia. These two cultures were so different that destructive, abhorrent problems were sadly not avoided. Good communication was difficult with language barriers and fear expressing itself at every chance meeting. The removal of greed and arrogance from the English military governors of the time would have been helpful, but we can’t go back, we can only consider the wrongs of the past and hope it never happens again.

Today reconciliation has come a long way, especially with reclamation of land, peaceful protests and the heartfelt apology broadcast to all nations, especially in regard to the stolen generation. Peaceful understanding and cultural celebrations continues…

On Australia day:

Celebrate the indigenous culture that allows you to live on sacred ground

Celebrate the time you or your ancestors set foot on this amazing continent

Celebrate out in the open with family and friends

Celebrate the unique landscape of desert, bush, rain forest and coast

Make conversation with strangers on this friendly day

Remember you’re the lucky ones, with many on a very slow immigration queue

Enjoy your Australia Day

Sharon D Bush

Writer Historian Artisan Sage