Order of Australia

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!

 photo Dadaward_zpsf40c9ecc.jpgThat’s my Dad, getting an award 🙂

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.


2 thoughts on “Order of Australia

  1. nuranar

    Congratulations to your dad!

    Heh. Baby Boomer spirituality. I wonder if it’s a country difference, or just a different perception, because the Boomers in the U.S. were the ones who instituted all the so-called revolutions. So even if that’s not actually the majority of them, it’s a LOT.

    My dad has thought about the differences in generations as well – he’s considered on the very tail end of the boomers, being born in 1958 – and he thinks a lot of it is due to the way the previous generation did not train their children. That earlier generation mostly grew up with Christian thought and morals taught both at home and school, and were accustomed to a culture that mostly worked that way. It wasn’t necessarily a Christ-centered way of living, though; just cultural norm. So they brought up their own kids the same way – decent home life, sincere thought not clearly Christian moral expectations, and assuming the schools were doing the same. But decidedly anti-Christian minorities, particularly in academia, had gotten Christianity kicked out of schools. Their parents just assumed the boomers were getting the same moral grounding they had, but instead were being taught the opposite. And neither parents nor children had a real Christian spiritual heritage to rely on. The “revolutions” of the 60s, free love, drug culture, etc. grew directly out of it. And I think that the rise of the evangelical church(s) in the 70s was a response to *that*.

    Great over-simplification! To round up, a think that boomers collectively have tried, or seen others, try lots of things, and seen how lots of it didn’t work or isn’t satisfying. Also, they’re aging, and people tend to care less and take it easy when they get older, unless they’ve already got some kind of strong personal convictions or habits. So they’ve settled back for a comfortable type of “spirituality” that rejects nothing – because that would take a lot of effort – and offends no one, while still feeling good that they’re on the side of “the big guy” or “spiritual principle”.

    That’s just my ramblings!

    1. Alison Post author

      Its sounds plausible!
      The thing is that it’s so hard for me to really understand what’s going on in their minds because I know their upbringing, life experiences and basic beliefs – their worldview – is just so different from mine and I as much as I learn about what they think I still don’t feel like I really get it.
      It freaks me out that one day I won’t be able to understand the generations that come after us in a similar way. I’m scared of the cultural disconnect happening in more than one direction :S


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