James Gresham has a property outside Glen Innes. He was born in Tasmania, the son of “Ten Pound Poms”.
Here’s his take on Australia Day: “The world we live in today is the result of the history underpinning it. Some of that history was good. Some of it was tragic. But I live in today. Not in the past.
On Australia day, we commemorate a pivotal turning point in the history of this nation. A collision of a great many cultures. While I acknowledge there were some tragedies and unpleasantness, I would suggest that most of the influence was positive.
The native Australian population now enjoy antibiotics, anaesthetics, electricity, education, social equality, prosperity, health and longevity never seen before in their culture. They live, mostly in peace, under the rule of Australian law.
Many have also had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and enjoy the peace and hope that it offers. (Unfortunately, that gospel is often drowned out by the clammer of church doctrine and dogma, but that is another discussion.)
Today, a great many people from a great many places around the world are able to share this great country, including the peoples who were here prior to Europeans arriving, and that egalitarian opportunity, and the benefits available is what we like to remember, uphold, and applaud.
To sit there wallowing in self-pity and crying about injustices of the past is just childish. To those who want to make a scene about Australia day, I would suggest that they consider all the benefits and joys we share.
That is not to say that we forget our history.
Quite the reverse in fact. We MUST learn history. That way we can recognise and protect the good parts, and avoid repeating the bad parts.
Get with the program, join the team and stop complaining about a bad play or a questionable call the umpire made several games ago.”