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AUSTRALIA DAY MESSAGE FROM DARREN CHESTER

January 27, 2014

Australia Day is more than a public holiday – it’s the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on what has made our nation successful and resolve to overcome any challenges.

But what makes Australia such a great nation?
 
Other countries have beautiful environments, there are many other democracies in the world and we’re not the only nation that has brought together many different cultures in a largely harmonious society.
In my mind, it is the people of Australia that make us great.
 
Throughout our nation we are blessed with millions of people who volunteer in a wide variety of organisations to serve their community.
 
Some of these people were acknowledged with awards on Australia Day but they don’t serve to seek recognition and in any case, the award winners are only the tip of the iceberg.
 
So many Australians donate their own time to quietly and diligently support their community every day of the week.
 
On Australia Day we should thank them all and commit ourselves to keeping that tradition alive. It is a tradition based in mateship, helping others who need a hand and the need to feel part of something bigger than our own lives.
 
If you’re not already a volunteer for a local organisation in Gippsland, why not make 2014 the year that you sign up to help make a difference in your community?
 
By volunteering to support a community or sporting organisation, you are making a statement that you care about the future of Gippsland, Victoria and Australia.
 
Finally, at a time when much of the political and media commentary focuses on what’s wrong with Australia we should count our blessings.
 
As we cast our eyes around the world and witness stories of death and destruction in other countries, we should be thankful for the largely safe and secure community we share.
 
That’s not to say there aren’t problems and things we would all like to change but as a nation, we are heading in the right direction.
 
By working together, we can address challenges like poverty, homelessness, indigenous disadvantage, family violence and any shortcomings in our government services.
 
We can all do our bit to make sure Australia remains the greatest nation in the world.
 
 

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