May Australia Day bring out the best in everyone this long weekend.
It is the most inclusive day on our calendar, the day when a nation of immigrants can celebrate itself in all its diversity.
At its best, Australia has a proud tradition of tolerance, uniting many people under one flag, not masking but celebrating our differences.
This weekend another group of newcomers to our shores will be welcomed in a moving citizenship ceremony.
The Eurobodalla has many citizens born overseas who have contributed greatly to our communities.
Tonight, two of them will be honoured for their hard work: Narooma’s Otto Eichler and Anne de Vries.
Born in East Prussia and the Netherlands respectively, these citizens have made gifts of their “downtime” to those around them.
Mr Eichler has made life easier for many older and sick residents, driving them to and from their appointments.
Mrs de Vries has kept food on the table for others, as a Meals on Wheels delivery driver and roster manager.
May they and all the other volunteers who make our community strong have a wonderful Australia Day.