As our Australia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow series continues, Queensland author Scott G. Gibson finds hope for the future in his young daughter, and wonders what mark she will leave in history's page.
For We Are Young & Free
Scott G. Gibson
For We Are Young And Free
There are many times in each and every day when I look at my daughter Liesel and know Australia's future is in good hands.
Her impish smile and infectious laughter are the cement that holds our young and glorious country's foundations together. Her independence and determination are what keeps Australia moving forward. Her resilience keeps her smiling; even after falling time and time again, she chooses to learn from her mistakes. Liesel falls, cries, and then is smiling again in no time.
My wife and I see Liesel as unique, yet to the people of her homeland, she is just like any other toddler, however, she is indicative of where our great country is headed, regardless of whether we remain a Commonwealth country or a republic.
Australia has grown in leaps and bounds. Starting with our convict heritage, we have witnessed a dark and shameful history: oppression, slavery, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights... The list goes on.
With each generation of new Australians, we make headway to improve our country. We right the wrongs as best we can. But we still have more to do.
We have removed the laws that bound the traditional custodians of our land and given them back their rights. Yet we still have a way to go to close the gap.
We have given women the right to vote and acknowledged them as equals. Yet we still have a way to go to bring fairness to the workforce and close the wage gap.
We have given homosexual couples the right to be married. Yet we still have a way to go to remove the bigotry some people still exhibit towards people who identify as LGBTQ+.
I'm confident that the vast differences within the Australian community is what holds us together as a nation, and it is our youth - our future leaders - who will bring us closer.
As the world teeters on the brink of turmoil, it is our youthful country who will stand united. I have confidence that we will move towards greener energy sources to reduce global warming. I have confidence that we will accept other cultures and realise we are universal in key values, with foundations built upon love, happiness and community. And I have confidence that we will help bring peace between countries, shining our wondrous light on the dark and shadowy places of our earth.
As I sit watching Liesel sleep, her eyelids flickering softly to her dreams, I hope they are the dreams of her bright future. I hope she grows to know how lucky she is, and that she holds the confidence to achieve her full potential. For, like our great nation, she is young and free, and there are many more pages of her history book left to write.
Our Australia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow series continues all this week.