So tell us mate, what does Australia Day mean to you?

TO be an Australian means many things.

First and foremost, we are free. We are a nation of great diversity, richness and colour.

We are blessed with opportunity - it's there for the taking by anyone willing.

As a nation we boast a proud history. We have fought for, and earned, what we now enjoy.

But never should we turn our back on our mistakes.

We're a nation which has grown up. We have learnt when to say we are sorry. We are fostering a culture of tolerance and, while there is still a long way to go, we boast one of the most beautifully multicultural communities in the world.

So, what does Australia - and Australia Day - mean to you.

Think about it for a moment.

There are the ceremonies, the awards, the thong throwing competitions (and yes, we say thongs not flip-flops!), the pie eating contests, the lamingtons, the baby pools filled with ice, the Esky filled with beer, the Triple J Hottest 100, the beach, the outback, the barbeque, the lamb ads, the honour and the privilege.

To be an Aussie is something none of us should take for granted.

And no matter what our background, our colour or our creed - here is a day meant as a celebration of the nation we are.

Where else in the world is everyone your mate?

We can reflect of that which has shaped us.

We can consider that which still needs doing.

And we can look to a bright future.

Ours is a way of life worth celebrating.

So whatever you're doing today: Enjoy.

And have a bloody ripper of an Australia Day!

WHAT does Australia and being Australian mean to you? Share your thoughts below

Topics:  australia day australian editors picks

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