Reflect. Respect. Celebrate.

Happy Monday to all.

Tomorrow is Australia Day and the theme for this year is ‘Reflect. Respect. Celebrate.’

Australia has a wonderfully rich and diverse population and heritage. Our country is home to the oldest continuous culture on earth with a history reaching back beyond 60,000 years. I think that is something about which all Australians can and should be immensely proud. So too I think we should all be proud of our rich migrant heritage and our cohesive society. These are things to honour, respect and celebrate.

At the same time, we need to reflect on the massive impact European settlement has had on our First Nations Australians. We still have much work to do to achieve reconciliation and to create a sustainable future where First Nations people have the same life expectancy, opportunities and outcomes as other Australians. Tomorrow gives us all the opportunity to learn more about the culture and aspirations of First Nations Australians and to think about how our shared future can be better. In this space, the Law Society is committed to advocating for the protection and promotion of the rights of First Nations Australians in NSW, and to providing opportunities for the voices of First Nations individuals and communities to be heard by governments and other institutions.

And, of course, tomorrow gives us the opportunity to celebrate all that is terrific about our nation – and maybe some time to have a swim and a barbecue! 

Juliana Warner, President, the Law Society of NSW