Editorial: It’s worth pausing on WA Day to celebrate this wonderful State of ours

EditorialThe West Australian
Thousands of West Australians walked for reconciliation at Kings Park last week.
Camera IconThousands of West Australians walked for reconciliation at Kings Park last week. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

To borrow a phrase from the iconic Tina Turner, our State is “simply the best” (although considering our special wrap today of the 22 things that explain WA, maybe we should be searching for the perfect AC/DC quote).

And today is the day we celebrate why this glorious State is one of the greatest places to live. As we mark this annual occasion, even our newly crowned Prime Minister swung by our city to thank us for helping him secure victory, declaring: “It is great to be here in Western Australia, on the Western Australia Day long weekend.”

He reiterated WA was an important part of the nation and that during the pandemic, the success of WA in keeping the economy going was “absolutely vital”.

Sandgropers are a parochial bunch and we’re proud of the significant contribution our State makes to the nation. Premier Mark McGowan, in comments to mark WA Day, said the way the State had handled the pandemic “set us miles apart from the rest of the nation and the world”, saying those he admired the most were the 1.7 million people who had been triple vaxxed.

“This is testament to the selflessness of Western Australians, willing to do the right thing and make sacrifices for each other,” he said.

“The spirit of Western Australians has been on show for the world to see: a spirit of co-operation, generosity and resilience and this is something we can all be proud of.”

We have a beautiful coastline, superb weather, can-do attitude and with borders now open, we are more than happy to welcome newcomers wanting to call this State home.

The WA Day celebrations are focused on including all people, no matter how long they have called themselves Western Australians.

Today is also about raising awareness and fostering discussion on the history of WA Day, our unique heritage, culture and diversity, identity and location.

As we encourage this discussion, it is fitting that we share Peter Law’s chat with Patrick Dodson, the WA senator known as “the father of reconciliation”.

In his first interview since his appointment as Special Envoy for Reconciliation and the Implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Senator Dodson said he believed the vast majority of Australians would vote in support of recognising First Nations peoples in the Constitution.

Labor has promised to implement the Uluru statement, and Senator Dodson said as special envoy he would work with ministers across government to drive the process of implementing the statement, which he said was an “invitation” from the First Nations people to the Australian public to “walk with them on a journey”.

“This is about nation-building, it’s about Australia,” he said. “This is about our real opportunity for all of us to do something wonderful for our country and that is to get behind a referendum that supports the concept of a voice for First Nations peoples to the Parliament so they can have a say on those key pieces of legislation or on policy matters that are going to impact their lives.”

Responsibility for the editorial comment is taken by WAN Editor-in-Chief Anthony De Ceglie

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