Australia Day is here, and it’s the one day of the year to celebrate all things Aussie. So, we asked our audience What does being an Australian mean to them?
Australia's celebration of nationhood and national identity has progressed over the 200 years. Over the years Multiculturism flourished in Australia, and people from across the world made Australia Home. Australians feel proud to be Australian and proud of the values that characterise Australia today.
So in a real sense what does being an Australian mean? Here are some answers:
For Perth based Engineer, Jenish Pandya, being an Australian means freedom and opportunity. He says, "Australia is a land where you are free to be whoever you want to be, whatever you want to do and however, you want to do it. No one judges you by your position or title; you are respected for the person you are and not by your job or how much money you have. You have the freedom to travel, meet interesting people from all around the world and discover different places and different cultures all in one country."
Brisbane based Reena Augustine who is also Multicultural Ambassador shared her thoughts with SBS Hindi. She says that being an Australian means being part of a society that preserves individual cultures and background, at the same time it instigates equality and respect amongst all.
She added "It means being all around the world in one corner. It means showing my culture next to many different other ones, with full respect and passion for multiculturalism. It means that if you love something and you believe it, you can make it happens." She believes that Australian society offers opportunities to everyone without any discrimination. For her, Australia is the land of opportunities and multiculturalism.
Melbourne's Arvind Vatsa who migrated to Australia in 1992 said, "This means some things but to choose a few, it means being inclusive and respectful to everyone. Work hard to achieve what I want to achieve and then take the time to enjoy it." Australia has people from the variety of backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicity. It is vital that we leverage strengths of the collective to make our world a better place.
According to Arvind Vatsa, People should respect each other, traditions, beliefs and other personal peaceful endeavours of our people. We should try to give everyone a fair go. He thinks people achieve beautiful outcomes once they feel respected and own their spaces.
Like people always say, Australia is a land of opportunities; Arvind believes the same and says that we should strive to achieve our goals, learn new skills if needed to get there.
Small Business Owner from Adelaide Virendranathi Tripathi said, "Being Australian means: believing in a multi-cultural society that embraces people from all ethnicity (regardless of their faith, culture, race, and skin colour), freedom with responsibility, being inclusive, egalitarian spirit and fair-go." He thinks that It also means having compassion, tolerance and mutual respect. For him being an Australian means being passionate about natural resources and the sports. According to Virendranath, Above all being Australian is “being responsible human in One World Family. “
"Australians are unique. We have thousands of species of animals that can kill you, and I am proud of that wildlife. Being an Australian, you can speak English with slang, and I need not study hard like my cousin has to do in India." said, 12 years old Mansi Thakrar who lives in Shellharbour, NSW.