THE Governor-General, Sir William Deane has called on Australians to reflect on the many achievements of the past 100 years of nationhood, but also to be “honest and courageous about the failures and flaws which mar these achievements”.
In his Centenary of Federation addresses in Sydney on January 1, he focused on “our greatest achievement, the way we are making our diversity … a source of national strength and unity”.
In the first of two addresses in Centennial Park where the Commonwealth was proclaimed on January 1, 1901, Sir William, who is a Catholic, told the crowd: “Together we represent all Australians. We also represent, as their heirs and beneficiaries, the 4 million people of the six colonies, who, Ôrelying on the blessing of Almighty God’, came together as the Commonwealth of Australia”.
“We represent the generations of Australians of so many backgrounds, whose work in peace and sacrifice in war have built our country.
“And we represent, especially through the young people and families here, the hopes and dreams of what Australia can be in this generation and the generations to come.”
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