On 26 January, 1788, my forebears, along with many others, arrived in Australia on the First Fleet.They were sick, poor and destitute, and not here by choice. But they made a life like the many others who followed them, helping to build our great nation.
For we are a country made up of indigenous people, settlers and immigrants.
Australia Day is the day we celebrate all Australians, all their stories, all their journeys. It is a day for us to come together.
We do this on January 26 because that was the day Australia changed forever. Before that day there were 60,000 years of indigenous history. After that day, our land was set on the course to the modern Australia we know and love today.
We have a great national story. It’s not perfect, but no country has a perfect story. We are a living, breathing, honest and good-hearted people making the best choices we can, but always striving to be better.
A country is more than geography, it’s also about a shared history and future. For us, it is 25 million lives knitted together – with our joys and dramas, achievements and mistakes.
Australia Day is also a day for those many intrepid Australians overseas to pause and participate in that most Australian of things: the simple joy of connecting with faraway family or hanging out with your mates new and old.
We come from so many backgrounds. The wonder of Australia is that the bonds between us are unshakable and unbreakable. We draw strength from these bonds as we seek to build an even fairer and more prosperous future together.
Happy Australia Day everyone!
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia