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Life has become so bloody miserable that I feel like a stranger in my own Australia.  I am supposed to apologise for a crime I did not commit 200 years ago; I am supposed to apologise for being born with white skin, which, to be honest, is a curse in the sunburned country.

Having had melanomas, skin cancers, all manner of things white skin related, I suspect that I have  been well and truly punished for my white skin. I don’t really need to be told that I should pop off and shoot myself for having been born here. I think that I have suffered enough.

 

We are reminded, everyday and every night that we are living in a multi cultural society, here in Australia, our sunburned country and land of flooding rains. Yet we are no longer allowed to be Australian.

When Dorothea McKellar wrote her famous poem all those years ago, I wonder if she knew that we would have to defend our right to live here, despite having been born here?

I do love my sunburned country. I truly do.

I love a sunburnt country, 
A land of sweeping plains, 
Of ragged mountain ranges, 
Of droughts and flooding rains. 
I love her far horizons, 
I love her jewel-sea, 
Her beauty and her terror 
The wide brown land for me! 

Yet I am supposed to be ashamed, apologetic, horrified, for having been an Australian. I have embraced her unpredictability and her harsh reality.

I have seen

“ Her pitiless blue sky, 
When, sick at heart, around us 
We see the cattle die 
But then the grey clouds gather, 
And we can bless again 
The drumming of an army, 
The steady soaking rain. “

Who could love this country? Seriously? This unforgiving Land that we call home?

We can, her CHILDREN.

“ Land of the rainbow gold, 
For flood and fire and famine 
She pays us back threefold. 
Over the thirsty paddocks, 
Watch, after many days, 
The filmy veil of greenness 
That thickens as we gaze ... “

Only an Australian, born or arrived, can truly appreciate and love these words, understand them and embrace them.

Australia is no land of milk and honey. It is no land for the feint hearted. But it can be, if we only look and embrace the hidden gems she , Mother Australia, gives to us.

Having lived in the Outback, I know that she, Australia,  is a cruel taskmaster. She gives, she takes away. She whips and she puts salves on the wounds.

Having also lived on the coast, I know that Australia rewards and punishes. Cyclonic winds, seas and destruction that is sometimes incomprehensible.  Australia is a woman who loves and admonishes with equal passion.

There is no doubt in my mind that Australia is female. No transgender is she. She is the fury, the might, the power and the love and the destroyer. All at once and all in equal measure.

When people live in the suburbs of Australia;  Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or elsewhere, they have no idea of the fury of this woman called Australia. They see her soft belly, her kind and benevolent side. She is nurturing and speaks with soft words and cuddles them like a spoiled child.

They have no idea the wrath that she has. She tempts, rewards, punishes and hurts, all at the same time.

She gives rain, she takes it away. She taunts. She sends floods and then fires and she teases with generosity beyond measure – only to burn it or flood it or destroy it seemingly in an instant.d1

We live in a Nation, on a Continent that is her own gatekeeper. No one tells Australia what to do.

She does her own thing and makes us fools for thinking that we can tame her.

We , who call ourselves Australian, must accept that she is our Mother and love her, loathe her, despise her or hate her, we must always respect her.

Australia is her own Mistress.

And no matter what we do or say, our Australia will never be tamed. By anyone or any doctrine.

She will defeat us all unless we accept that, no matter what, this harsh Motherland is in charge. And will always be in charge.

We must allow this Australia to give us coal, uranium, all her wealth. In exchange we must quench her thirst for water.

She is a thirsty woman.

Give her water and she will reward us abundantly.

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