Good Morning and welcome to Wednesday and Australia Day 2011 - have a wonderful day however you spend it. Celebrate all that we are and all that we have. Celebrate family and friends - celebrate life itself.
I am very proud to live in this "wide brown land" I love my Country with a passion and I love her people. Right now so many Australians are hurting and struggling to cope with the flood damage and still it goes on in Victoria. We have a cyclone forecast for Western Australia and there is one hovering over the north Queensland coast but I am encouraged that it seems to be weakening.
I am guessing that lots of barbeques will be fired up today and I hope where you are the weather is good and suitable for outdoor eating. My friend Christina is cooking turkey and chicken and all sorts of other goodies for a family get together with her parents. Christina, Jeff, Alan and Janis - enjoy your day together - cherish the times you spend and no doubt the "puppies" will keep you entertained.
For me - a quiet day at home but dinner out this evening - not an Australia Day celebration but a farewell dinner for Mary who returns to Murwillumbah on Saturday after eight weeks with Narelle. She is going home for a Specialist Medical appointment but assures me she will be back soon - I hope so.
Listening to the radio I hear of Australia Day functions all over the country and lots of fund raising and it makes me proud to be Australian.
In the Australia Day Awards announced today an award was made to an ABC Journalist - Sally Sara for her contribution to Journalism. Sally is a South Australian girl and I am proud of the wonderful work she does from very difficult places.
Sally Sara is the ABC's South Asia Correspondent. She is based in New Delhi and has been there since November, 2008.
In 2000, at the age of 29, Sally was the first woman appointed to the ABC’s Africa bureau. She spent five years based there and has reported from more than 25 countries including Iraq, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lebanon.
Sally spent more than six months travelling solo across Africa in 2005 to write a book on African women. 'Gogo Mamma - A journey into the lives of twelve African women' was published by Pan Macmillan Australia in July 2007.
Returning to Australia, Sally presented ABC TV's rural program Landline.
She grew up in a small town of Port Broughton in rural South Australia and started her career at a community radio station at Bourke in outback New South Wales. In 1993, Sally started with the ABC as a rural reporter, before joining the flagship national radio current affairs programs AM, PM and The World Today, working in Melbourne and Canberra.
Sally has won a UN Media Peace Award, was a finalist in the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, was named Queensland Journalist of the Year, South Australian Young Journalist of the Year and won the British Prize for Journalism.
In 2007, Sally was awarded the International Women's Media Foundation Elizabeth Neuffer fellowship for human rights journalism. She travelled to the United States and was a visiting fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When she's not reporting, Sally enjoys running. She is a state Masters Athletics champion and won a silver medal at the Australian Masters Athletics Championships in 2007.
Sally reports from the World's "hot spots" and does so with compassion and humility - she is very brave. She spoke at a breakfast here in Adelaide for last year's International Women's Day and Naomi assures me she was great - I have no doubt about that.
Well that's Australia Day morning for me - It is not hot today (pleasantly warm) and I am planning a quiet time.
Take care of yourself and those you love and be sure they know you love them.
Love and hugs,