A message from Barry Lenihan – General Manager, First Nations
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 27 million people currently call Australia home, yet nearly 30% of us weren’t even born here. For the 70% of us who were born in Australia, one in five have at least one parent who wasn’t.
Of our entire population, it is estimated just under 4% identify as First Nations People which, interestingly, is almost equivalent to the current percentage of Australians who have indicated they were born in England.
We truly are culturally and ethnically diverse in our make-up, thanks to ‘all the lands on Earth’ from which we come. Wherever we hail from, we are Australian and as 26 January approaches, we can think about what it means for us as individuals and as a nation.
Reflect with respect
Given the diversity of Australia’s population, it’s not surprising to learn there is growing support to shift away from what 26 January traditionally stands for. The day presents an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our nation’s history, ancient and recent. From the First Australians who have occupied these lands for tens of thousands of years, to European settlement and the many different faiths, traditions, cultures and abilities that have shaped our nation along the way.
Ways to participate
However you decide commemorate 26 January, we encourage you to do so respectfully and to take time out to acknowledge and learn more about our nation’s rich history. If you intend getting out and about, see your local council’s website for events and activities or check out the websites below for things to do in your region.
- To celebrate the survival of one of the world’s oldest living cultures, see a list of Survival Day events in your state.
- The National Australia Day Council has information to help you get involved.
- The Queensland Government has a section dedicated to Australia Day including things to do and ways to reflect on what it means.
- For our those in NSW, you can visit Australia Day in NSW to discover what’s on.
From all of us as at Mercy Community we wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable long weekend.