Australia Day 2020 was a wonderful celebration of community in the Lowan electorate on Sunday.
Right across our fantastic region people attended Australia Day events and gatherings, enjoying the opportunity to come together and celebrate our Aussie way of life in its many different forms.
A huge thank you to all the community groups and councils who organised and ran local celebrations from our small towns to our major regional centres.
A number of awards recognised the invaluable contribution that volunteers make to our community together with Citizen of the Year awards honouring those who have worked tirelessly to make our region a better place to live.
Order of Australia accolades were presented to several well-deserving local residents and I congratulate them on this outstanding achievement.
I welcome all our newest Australian citizens who took the oath of affirmation to Australia, just as I acknowledge the first custodians of our land, the Australian Aboriginal people.
We are lucky to call Australia home and while I understand the date is inflammatory to some, the intent of celebrating all the things that make Australia great should be celebrated.
Bushfires right across our magnificent country, some still burning, have been heartbreaking and have caused devastating harm to homes, buildings, animals, land, and forests.
But it has also brought out the best in people.
A massive thank you to our emergency service volunteers who have given up their summer break and being with their families to volunteer and help manage the fires and clean up. There have been so many amazing donations, fundraisers and offers to help showcase the enormous generosity and the kind and caring community we live in.
On Australia Day, we reflect on our history, we respect the stories of others, and we celebrate our nation and its people.
Thanks to all Australians for adding their own special inspiration to what it means to be Australian.
Emma Kealy MP
Member for Lowan