This Australia Day, my Dad won an award! Even more – he was accepted as a member of the Order of Australia, which as far as I can make out is like Australia’s chillaxed version of the British knighthood.
“Sir Frederick and Lady Wentworth! It would be but a new creation, however, and I never think much of your new creations.”
– Mary Musgrove, Persuasion, Chapter 9
Haha! I had that quote in my head all day after I found out!
In all seriousness I am very proud of my Dad. I think I had the most memorable Australia Day celebrating with him, both at the local council ceremony where he was given his award for local citizenship, and at the big party my mum threw for him afterwards. My Dad works really hard, it was very special to see him recognised. He is going to have a great time when the Governor (General?) gives him whatever he gets to acknowledge his Order of Australia membership later in the year!
The day was also memorable for opening up two new experiences for me:
1. My first ever citizenship ceremony.
2. My first party almost exclusively attended by agnostic and atheist 50+ year olds since I starting working in Christian ministry.
So, along with overwhelming feelings of pride in my Dad and sharing his joy, my head was also abuzz with 500 other thoughts:
– What does it mean to Australian when everyone is disagreeing over indigenous history and migration policy?
– How do Liberal party members manage to sing the second verse of the national anthem with any integrity?
– If I was making a bingo sheet to take to a future citizenship ceremonies and awards ceremonies, what politically contested buzz words would I include?
(my list so far includes: ‘contribution’, ‘celebration’, ‘invasion’, ‘survival’, ‘migrant’, ‘heritage’, ‘volunteer’, ‘founded in 1788′, ’50 000 years’.)
– What on earth is the deal with Baby Boomer spirituality? They all seem to be believe in some kind of weak-but-still-spiritual pluralism that I have never encountered in anyone outside of their age cohort. They also all seem to assume that everyone else thinks the same way they do.
– Will Baby Boomers ever understand that Gen Y and those coming after them will never be able to purchase homes close to the Sydney CBD?
Lots of things to chew over, lots of difficult questions. Maybe I’ll tackle the easy one first and work on my bingo list for next year.