AUSTRALIA DAY 2022 - Maureen Smith ©

Australia Day is almost upon us. It's another public holiday in which to enjoy our wonderful country. There will be boats on Sydney Harbour, family backyard BBQ's, special TV events, all to celebrate being Australian, and of course the awards for outstanding service to the community.

Some won't be celebrating though. Some Indigenous people feel this is a day to mourn. The day their land was invaded by Britain. Let's respect the views of everyone and listen to one of the recipients of 2021 Senior Australian of the Year, Miriam-Rose Ungunerr-Baum who speaks of peace not division.

Miriam-Rose is a gracious woman who I had the privilege to meet when I lived at Daly River, Northern Territory. She is an elder of her community at Naiyu Nambiyu, Daly River, and gives wise counsel to both Indigenous people and others. She is a quiet unassuming woman, who exudes peace and serenity. However, her words and ideas are powerful and inspiring. She is a teacher, artist, and Aboriginal activist. Her teaching career began in the 1970s in her own community and progressed to be principal of her school with a PhD. She is a deeply spiritual woman who strongly believes that Dadirri, a deep inner listening and still awareness, is available to all people. She is closely connected to her country and takes strength from it and encourages others to do the same wherever they live.

This philosophy is shared by many people around the world and is becoming more known and indeed popular. It is a source of strength, peace and tranquillity in our world which today has become more and more troubled.

If you haven't yet 'met' Miriam-Rose, I encourage you to seek out her wisdom via the internet. Google her name and be inspired by this remarkable woman.