Australia Day 2022 message from Llew O’Brien

On Australia Day this year, it’s time to focus on unity, freedom, and bringing our communities back together.

After two years of restrictions and separation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now find our communities facing division by unfair mandates.

We are one country, and we must continue to uphold the Australian values of mateship; fairness; and equality.

Our great Aussie spirit has been highlighted throughout our flood-affected communities in Maryborough, Gympie and the South Burnett recently, where people have put their own safety and comfort aside to help others in need.

The courage and kindness of those everyday Australians helping their neighbours; the volunteers; the Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services; and council workers who have worked around the clock to protect others from the ravages of ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth – this is what makes Australia such a remarkable place to live.

I also recognise the dedication and sacrifices made by health and aged care professionals, first responders and frontline workers as we continue to battle COVID-19.

Selfless actions such as these are what defines us as a nation, and we must always remember that we are one country whose strength lies in its harmony.

These shared values of helping our mates and working together for a better future are what makes us proud to be Australians, and this is what we celebrate on 26 January.