Bit by bit, it’s great to see Australia Day starting to look like the national days of other countries.
Once upon a time, the anniversary of the arrival of the first British settlers was celebrated in ways that were remarkable solely for not being in any way remarkable. Today, our national day by chance falls on a Saturday; until 1994 it was always on a Monday.
Australia Day was routinely moved to the Monday closest to January 26 so everyone could enjoy a long weekend.
Most people would accept it as a day off work, to be spent with family – at a barbecue, perhaps.
How Australian, was the general feeling. A national day where everyone just did nothing.
That is changing, and we’re all better for it.
Indigenous Australians, who have understandably different ideas about the meaning of the anniversary, were probably the first to challenge this unthinking tranquility.
Their early protests, at Australia's sesquicentenary in 1938, attracted no widespread attention then, though they are rightly celebrated now.
Half a century later, the declaration of 1988 as a year of mourning gained more attention for a cause and a grievance – indigenous disadvantage – that had too long been neglected, and was only just starting to be seriously addressed.
What is important is that the Indigenous view of our shared history is fully acknowledged and respected.
Saturday's citizenship ceremonies across the country reflect the mature confidence of contemporary Australia.
Australians, whether their forebears came here 40 millennia ago, two centuries ago, or five years ago, all have much for which to be grateful.
We hope you stopped for a minute yesterday to think about how lucky we are to call Australia home.
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.