January 24, 2023

On the 26th
of January 2023 we mark Australia Day, a day where we acknowledge our country’s
past, recognise our achievements, and look forward to the future.

On our
nation’s national day, right around the country new Australians are welcomed at
citizenship ceremonies, the Australia Day Honours List of Australians who have
achieved great things for their community is announced, barbecues are fired up,
and rubbish bins become cricket stumps as we come together to enjoy the company
of family, friends, and neighbours.

Australia Day
is not just another public holiday. It is our nation’s biggest annual civic
event. It’s a day to reflect on our history, a day to respect the origins,
experiences, stories, and contributions of our fellow Australians, to celebrate
our strong and diverse community and honour this great nation, our
achievements, and the people who have helped shape the Australia we have

While we all
have different views, backgrounds, and experiences, Australia Day is a day to
respect and share the stories, histories, and contributions of every Australian
– like the ones people throughout Wide Bay have made, and continue to make, to
our nation.

Thanks to the
sacrifices, the hard work of those who have gone before us, and those who have
served and continue to serve to secure our freedom, Australia is one of the
safest, most economically stable countries in the world, with many
opportunities ahead.

success today is built upon the uniquely Aussie characteristics for which we
are known throughout the world, of our courage, tenacity, mateship, and our
unwavering optimism. The Australian spirit we share is known for its
inclusiveness, compassion, and the sheer hard work that has gone towards making
Australia strong.

Australians, we know that our country is what we make of it, and that is why
for most of my life I have worked to make our communities and our nation even
better. I have seen the good and bad in society, and I acknowledge the work we
must continue to do to keep our communities safe, our borders secure, and
protect our Australian way of life.

I will keep
up my fight to build a better Wide Bay, and to ensure that our nation’s future
holds prosperity and growth for all.

Whether you
plan to celebrate with loved ones and friends at a public ceremony, or if you choose
to commemorate the occasion at home, I hope you fly the Aussie flag with pride,
stay safe and enjoy the day with your fellow Australians.

Mr O’Brien
will celebrate Australia Day at events planned by the Gympie Regional Council.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.