Australia Day, held on January 26, is the biggest day of celebration in the country and is observed as a public holiday in all states and territories.
On Australia Day, the people of Australia we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about our sunburnt country, and why we love being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.
It's also the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.
There are many great things about this country:
Our people are a mixed bunch. They are the life savers on the beach and the farmers in the bush; the larrikins; our sporting heroes, artists and visionaries; the volunteers who dedicate their lives to others; the spirit of pulling together in hard times and achieving beyond expectation; the eminent Australians from all walks of life, the battlers and the ordinary Australians who are anything but ordinary.
Our great southern land is ancient and revered, fragile yet enduring. Harsh and extreme, lush and bountiful - Australia is an island continent like no other. Our dry, yet fertile land offers boundless opportunity, sustains us and makes us who we are.
Australia is a multicultural land; a nation of diversity bound together for the common good. People from the city, the country, different nations and backgrounds; we are one people, living in unity. Through our diverse beliefs and experiences we learn from each other and grow together.
Home to the world's longest continuous civilisation, with history dating back some 50,000 years, Australia owes much to its indigenous peoples. Their rich and resilient spirituality; their knowledge, art and history have all shaped this land. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples remain a key part of Australia's identity and culture.
Australian society is built on a strong foundation of mutual rights and responsibilities. Freedom of thought, expression and religious belief (or lack thereof). We are all encouraged to paricipate in government and benefit from our respect for and equality granted under the law.
The "true blue" Aussie spirit is about ensuring that we are each given a good chance at life. This enduring spirit of mateship and fairness nurtures a compassionate society committed to providing broad access to employment, housing, health and education. Ours is a land of opportunity where we can achieve anything.
Read more about Australia and Australia Day on the Australian Government's official Australia Day website:australiaday.org.au