Ergo it's Australia's National day which (according to wikipedia)
"commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the hoisting of the British flag there, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia"Therefore it's the also the same day our National ancestors began the decimation (by violence, sickness and ignorance) of the indigenous population. Today is also known as "Sorry Day" and "Invasion Day" to many people. [Changing the day of national celebration to a more neutral date has been discussed in recent years - sadly nothing has been resolved so far]
I am proud to be an Australian. Proud of our people, our general larrikin attitude to life and proud too that we are taking our place on the international stage more seriously these days.
This doesn't mean I'm also proud of past acts of stupidity, bigotry and racism but I see hope for us as a Nation when each generation takes more steps to rectify the past injustices [and not just to our indigenous members - look up "Home Children" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Children if you'd like to see what else the British/Australian/Colonials got up to]
So today I'm reflecting on what we are - where we have come from - where we need to go in the future, and what steps each of us need to take to get there. Of course about 80% of my fellow countrymen are probably too busy banging snags on to the barbie and guzzling beer to share these thoughts but (hopefully) when they sober up they might have similar thoughts too.
I'll leave you with some iconic Australian symbols (and stop being depressing)