After watching the national Australia Day awards last night on tellie, and being one of the crowd at Maldon’s celebration in the park, I realised it is still possible to be a pioneer. The spirit that founded and developed this huge island is still very much alive and thriving, despite what I hear and see in the news, which gives me hope.
Listening to the folk who won the awards, I could not help but be inspired by their passions, which were as varied as passions can be. Though, they did all have one thing in common – the need to give something to others, in one form or another. I’m sure that, as human beings, they all have their quirks and foibles like the rest of us, but fear doesn’t appear to be amongst them.
As well as the present, history overflows with folk who were passionate enough about their beliefs, goals, ideals or visions to put fear aside and ‘go for it’, not merely for their sake but also for the sake of others.
When I was younger, Australia Day was a welcome public holiday, one less day at work. Over the past few years, this day has instead become as important to me as it is to so many other Aussies – a day when we appreciate what we have, who we are, and acknowledge the pioneers amongst us.
Due to wildlife commitments I missed the free brekky, but not the gifted tree from the local Land Care group. I was in time to enjoy poetry, song and music. I saw the youngsters grinning from behind painted faces, and stopped to chat in an atmosphere of community.
And, I came away with an increased appreciation for passion – the element that dampens fears and fosters in us the courage to pursue our dreams.