As a proud Australian I am saddened by the 'mean Australian spirit' being shown by a small percentage of other Australians (I hope it is a small percent).
As most of you who live in Perth would have noticed (and maybe it happens in other States too) over the last few years there has been a sudden outpouring of the Australian spirit - if you think adding little Aussie flags to your car prior to Australia Day and driving with them proudly waving around shows you have that spirit.
Although I question when did we become obsessed with our flag? Traditionally you would see it at Anzac ceremonies and maybe when there was some sort of international sporting event.
Maybe I over analyse the world but I worry that this new spirit has had bad beginnings, hopefully I am wrong, but did anyone see many of these little Aussie flags on cars prior to the Cronula riots? What was the switch that was thrown that day - wasn't it one of hate rather than pride?
Why am I concerned that the spirit being shown is not one of being a proud Australian but rather one of being a bigot or mean spirited Australian?
Well I saw those cars with large Aussie flags draped across them inciting riots against those that are non-white Australians in the Cronula riots and I cried.
I have also overheard people with those little Aussie flags on their cars speak ill of others from other lands.
But what has saddened me the most is that recently I have seen stickers on the back of cars waving their Aussie flags - stickers in the shape of Australia with the words Fuck Off We're Full.
So I have a message to those of you who drive around with your little flags - if you are doing it because you truly love this land and all the people who live in it - I think that is fantastic.
But to those of you who drive around with your little Aussie flags, your stickers of hate and your narrow view of the world who seem to think if you are not white, if you are not descended from the first fleet that you don't deserve to be welcomed to this land - I say very loudly -
this land is not your land - this is a land that was invaded, that was stolen from another people, people who we in our arrogance didn't allow to vote until the 1960s, people who through our intervention lost their connection to country - who through our moral high ground lost a generation or more of children - a once proud people who are fighting to win back what was rightfully theirs, a people who are still ridiculed just for the colour of their skin
So before you pontificate on who should be let into this land, before you wave your little Aussie flags and put your bigoted stickers on your cars - stop and think - this wasn't your land to start with, the only reason you can lay claim to this land was that the power of the guns of the invading white settlers were too powerful for the original owners.
And most of all remember that our first fleet was made up of the lowest of the low - the criminals of the British Isles - so take your little Aussie flags and your bigoted stickers and stick them where the sun don't shine, they don't deserve to see the light of day.
Oh and by the way I am descended from 2 convicts and proud of how they turned there lives around, but I am also saddened at how our Indigenous people have been dispossessed and treated so badly in the past. I am even more upset by the fact that so many white Australians today still think it is okay to make racist jokes and derogatory comments about our land's traditional owners.
May this land of Australia always be a haven for those less fortunate, lets us always welcome people of all colours, race and creed. And let us voice our disgust for those amongst us who are bigoted and of mean spirit - for if anyone doesn't deserve to live here - it is them.