Australia as a country has come a long way since Federation in 1901. With some 6 million Australians born overseas, Australia Day has come to mean a lot more than just another public holiday.
Multiculturalism affects all Australians and brings about understanding, acceptance and tolerance no matter your country of origin. Being a recent citizen of the country, does not mean you are any less Australian than your Anglo-Australian counterparts either!
Being an Australian born Filipino, I have come to know Australia Day as an occasion to celebrate with family, have a picnic in the park, throw a prawn on the barbie, or watch the local Australia Day concerts and fireworks. Being born and raised in such a multicultural country definitely gives me a broad perspective of cultures and traditions, making my home country truly unique.
A few years ago, I participated in the Australia Day parade in Sydney with a Filipino marching band. The spirit of the crowd waving and cheering resonated with me and gave me a sense of pride in being part of such a generous and patriotic community. Marching along with ex-servicemen and veterans, I understood the meaning of Australian freedom, honour and pride.
These days, the local Australia Day annual concert and fireworks bring about the same spirit of celebration in the suburbs. Seeing multicultural families sharing a picnic in the park, listening to Australian musical talents, makes my Australia day complete. What a multicultural country we live in!
By Phoebe Pulido
Image source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/australia-day-in-25-iconic-images/image-gallery/26904f2b3d52a9ace764d38daa184e09