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Samoda Silva Aus Day 2022

Good morning everyone. First of all, I would like to kindly acknowledge our distinguished guests, Mayor of Marion Council Kris Hanna, Member for Boothby Nicole Flint and Member for Kingston Amanda Rishworth, all of our new South Australian citizens, our Australia Day award winners and everyone here today. I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we gather on today, the Kaurna people of the Adelaide region, and I pay my respects to Elders past and present.

My name is Samoda Silva, and I’m very honoured to be speaking in front of you all today as an Australia Day ambassador. I sincerely thank all of the organisers of this event and the Australia Day Council of South Australia for this amazing opportunity. The theme for Australia day is a very beautiful and well-fitting statement I feel, and a sentiment that makes today such a special day to be a part of. The theme for Australia Day is “reflect. Respect. Celebrate. We’re all part of the story”.

This story is one that began more than 65,000 years ago, with our First Nations peoples. We shall reflect and learn about the history of our nation, including the ongoing history of First Nations Peoples, and the impact of European settlement on our First Australians, their culture and way of life. This reflection shall not only be carried out today, but continually as we all contribute to the new chapters of the Story of Australia.   

We shall pay respect to the personal stories, histories, and contributions of all Australians, especially those who have sacrificed and have given so much over the past year. We all have had our own unprecedented challenges. However, there is comfort and inspiration in the fact that there are so many South Australians who are putting the safety and wellbeing of others before their own. I honour them today.

And we shall celebrate Australia as a nation for the brilliant country it is. My parents migrated to Australia over two decades ago, with the prospect of providing a better life for themselves and their future children. With a whole lot of luck, I, a very ordinary girl, have received some incredible opportunities, including the opportunity to stand in front of all you lovely people and speak. My story alone just goes to show how much potential there is for all of you here in Australia, in an environment that is so nurturing and encouraging, enabling you to achieve whatever you desire.

I really hope I get the chance to speak with a lot of you today and learn your stories, because it is this patchwork of everyone’s distinct and interesting stories and life experiences, that really makes this country so diverse and unique. Regardless of whether you were born here or you are starting a fresh life here today, regardless of the language you speak, regardless of the factors that make us different, we are all part of the story, a story that benefits from every single of one of you. I wish everyone all the best for the year to come, and I thank you all for your time this morning.

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