Today marks 30 years that I have been living in Australia. Congratulations to me! And thank you to my parents for having the guts and foresight to want to keep a family together for a longer period of time and considering that moving to the other side of the world was a viable option to do this.
It has been a great adventure and this country has given me untold opportunities, good memories, great friendships, a loving family and the occasional challenge. It has also given me a place I am proud to call home, a distinctive accent to aspire to (yet to master it, don’t think I ever will) and many interesting cultural experiences I’ve yet to live through (Vegemite is a cultural experience – never tried, never will). And as with many Australians, I have probably seen less of the country than I should have. But I will fix that.
I remember researching a bit about Australia before moving here, pre-internet days really. I read the description of “the lucky country” (haven’t read the book) and this stayed with me. And when I first arrived and slowly beat my jet lag, I started to understand what this meant and what it symbolised. Sure, not everything was perfect, but it was pretty good actually.
When I now look around, I realise there are so many things that are not great, a lot that suck and plenty that should never have happened or be happening. But we are lucky that we live in a society that is mostly tolerant, mostly good, mostly caring, mostly respectful and mostly forward-looking.
Can we do more? Absolutely, and we should aspire to and do so. But let’s start by considering ourselves fortunate and let’s use that luck to our benefit.
Thank you Australia for welcoming us, for allowing us to work hard and thrive, for permitting us to call ourselves Aussies, for letting us be part of you. Here’s looking forward to the next 30 years and whether through luck, hard-work, divine intervention, karma, aliens or caring, may you continue to be an excellent place we are proud to call home.