“Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free; We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil; Our home is girt by sea; Our land abounds in nature’s gifts Of beauty rich and rare; In history’s page, let every stage Advance Australia Fair. In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair”
For anyone that has been to Australia, watched a sporting event involving Australia, or simply heard our national anthem; this first verse is powerful and says a lot. We are a young nation that was only classified as a country in 1901. We are free, we have the freedoms of the modern world. We are the number one exporter of iron ore, coal, unwrought lead and aluminium ores. We are the 2nd wealthiest nation in the world when referring to wealth per adult. (More information about how great we are here) We are rich in heart, in mind and in culture. We are a Strong and Fair Nation.
However, we are ultimately a big (huge) island that is geographically isolated from a lot of the world. We are a continent and a country. It is a 22-hour flight from the UK and similar flight time the most of Europe. It is a 15-hour flight from the USA. It is a 12-hour flight from China. So every other leading nation in the modern world is at least 10 hours away by plane (with the exception of New Zealand). We are alone and a lot of Australians do not venture very far to experience the world. In my personal opinion, this leads to some issues.
Australia is going through a human rights crisis. We have locked up hundreds of innocent people in offshore detention, and a lot of Australians support it. There are a lot of Australians that are afraid of people that are different, they are afraid of people that come from lands that are far away and they are afraid of people who have different beliefs. These Australian’s are not entirely at fault – for years the Australian Media has been promoting this fear. This isn’t helped by the Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson who has been an incredibly loud voice against immigration and her most recent attacks have been directed towards Muslims in Australia. She has said things such as “Islam is a disease; we need to vaccinate ourselves against that” and trying to start the hashtag #Pray4MuslimBan in the aftermath of the London Terror Attack. (See more details here) She promotes hatred and is telling Australian’s that a large group of people that share a common faith are all bad because of a select few. If we strip all of this darkness and name calling back; we can see that Muslims aren’t the issue here. According to George W Bush in 2001 he said “Islam is Peace,” this is the man that declared war on terror and even he could see that Islam is not the problem, people are.
This fear is preventing Australia from being the best it can be. This fear is obstructing Australian’s positive freedoms and is preventing the Australian society from being the land of a fair go that it has been known for throughout history. This hatred is preventing egalitarianism in our society and allowing for separation and conflict between citizens. This hatred goes against our traditions of Mateship, this hatred will grow to see our society fail and fall behind if we do not act. This hatred will increase if good people do nothing. This fear will continue to grow unless Australian’s are educated and begin to understand what is presently unknown.
Australian’s are free, Australian’s are young in Nationality and in mind. We are supposed to be the Citizens of mateship and egalitarianism (of fairness). So, treat everyone fairly, don’t be afraid of someone because they are different; Love wholeheartedly, treat them with kindness, and be the best person you can be.