Street Talk: Australia Day in Port Stephens

Sally-Anne Bowen, Sharon Bowen, Ross Bowen and Christine Major think Australia is the best country in the world.
Sally-Anne Bowen, Sharon Bowen, Ross Bowen and Christine Major think Australia is the best country in the world.

“Living overseas for many years, amongst many nationalities, makes you realise how laid back Australians are.

We are a unique and wonderful people.

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Australia is stunningly beautiful and we are so lucky to live here.

Australia Day is a day to celebrate the uniqueness of our people and the beauty of our nation.”

Sally-Anne Bowen, Hamilton

“Australia Day to me means let’s celebrate the day we invaded this country and took away the indigenous Australians’ rights and autonomy in their own country, considering them in the category of “Flora and Fauna” rather than citizens or traditional custodians.

Go ahead and celebrate Australia, but not on the day the first fleet arrived, murdered and changed the lives of the Aboriginals.

Why not celebrate on January 1, Federation Day, when legislation was passed that allowed Australian colonies the right to govern in their own right as part of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Now, that’s something to be excited about, rather than having what really happened in 1788 in the back of our minds.”
Meg Drury, Nelson Bay.

“I love Australia Day. Every year I go to Toowoon Bay for Australia Day.

I love the fireworks and the celebrations.”
Talia Segal, 11, Sydney

“I was born in Israel and arrived here in Australia when I was nine months old.

I feel very lucky to call Australia home and look forward to celebrating Australia Day.”
Michelle Segal, Sydney

“Obviously it’s an important time in history to recognise where we started and how we developed.

There are wonderful celebrations here in Nelson Bay to enjoy on this wonderful day and the best part is that it doesn’t clash with my golf day.”

Ralph Carstairs, Director of Finance, Nelson Bay Golf Club

“We have travelled to at least 32 countries, but there is nothing as good as what we have here.

We have free healthcare, free education and a beautiful country. We live in the best country in the world.”

Ross Bowen, Raymond Terrace

“This Australia Day we will do what we always do, the great Aussie tradition.

We are going to have a sausage sizzle and a huge piece of Damper with lashings of Golden Syrup down at Riverside Park, Raymond Terrace.

This year our cousin, Hazel Grey, is nominated for Senior Citizen of The Year Port Stephens, so that is exciting!”

Sharon Bowen, Raymond Terrace

“It’s been wonderful being in Australia.

You have beautiful people who are so friendly and the most wonderful wildlife.

I understand why you are so patriotic and excited to celebrate Australia Day.

I’ve really enjoyed my stay here.”

Christine Major, Indiana USA.

“I love Australia Day.

I love seeing everybody out by the water or in the parks, celebrating with friends.

Everyone is friendly and on this day everyone’s boundaries come down. I love that.

Although we are a culturally diverse nation, I love that we celebrate all things in the Aussie culture.

We can’t turn back the clock and right every wrong done to the first inhabitants of this great land but we can all move forward together, celebrating our diverse cultures which should honour all those before us who fought so hard under our flag so that on Australia Day, we still have the freedom to celebrate everything that makes this nation so great.

The great Southland of the Holy Spirit is the best nation in the world. Be grateful for all that you have.

If you’re having your first Australia Day as a new Aussie citizen, embrace our culture, don’t try and change us to fit your ideology.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.”

Judi Walker, Salamander Bay

“I think Australia Day is a great thing.

In the UK we have St George’s Day but it isn’t a public holiday, it’s just classed as a normal day.

I think we could learn a thing or two from you Aussies.”

Gemma Reid, Corlette (moved to the Bay from St Helens UK six years ago.)

Meg Drury wishes Australia Day was celebrated on Federation Day.
Meg Drury wishes Australia Day was celebrated on Federation Day.

Michelle Segal and her daughter Talia enjoying holidays in the Bay
Michelle Segal and her daughter Talia enjoying holidays in the Bay

Ralph Carstairs is looking forward to celebrating Australia Day in the Bay
Ralph Carstairs is looking forward to celebrating Australia Day in the Bay

Judi Walker pictured with two of her sons, Tobias and Elliott, hopes that every new Aussie citizen will embrace our culture.
Judi Walker pictured with two of her sons, Tobias and Elliott, hopes that every new Aussie citizen will embrace our culture.

Gemma Reid thinks that the people of the UK can learn a thing or two from us Aussies and how we celebrate Australia Day.  Photos by Jewell Drury
Gemma Reid thinks that the people of the UK can learn a thing or two from us Aussies and how we celebrate Australia Day. Photos by Jewell Drury

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