From drover to primary industries businessman negotiating international trade deals around the world, Narromine's Australia Day Ambassador Roger Fletcher has seen it all and says Australia is one of the best countries in the world.
"A lot of people say to me 'you're lucky because you're so successful', but I would say 'I'm lucky because I was born in Australia'," Mr Fletcher said on Sunday.
"And I think anyone who comes to Australia is very lucky."
One of Australia's biggest farmers and meat processors, Mr Fletcher owner of Fletcher International Exports, is best known for ignoring doomsayers when he made the decision to stop using council and government-owned abattoirs and build one of his own on a greenfield site in Dubbo in the late 1980s.
Mr Fletcher reflected on the comradery and mateship between nationalities which helped make Australia great, particularly seen in his own workplace.
"Over the last 10 to15 years its been interesting with our operations, quite a lot of people with so many people overseas coming in, we have a more harmonious workplace than I've ever seen in my life," he said.
"It's a great team and everyone knows that everyone needs a little bit of help, and as new people come in from overseas... [staff are] helping people climb the ladder and be secure in their jobs.
"I think that's been a great change."
He said there had also been an improved view of the west, with more people moving to regional areas, like Narromine and Dubbo.
"There is a perception out there .... that people only go to the regions until they can get back to the city, that's changed," he said.
"We've had plenty who work for me say ... 'once I do my 85 days I'll be going back to the city' and then once the 85 days are up they've changed their mind.
"And today there's a lot of people buying houses in Narromine and Dubbo that are from different countries, so there's been a huge change."
The ambassador said it was important for councils in the region to be working together to continue to make Australia great.
"Yes, Dubbo's the hub of [the region], but Dubbo can't survive without the Narromines, Trangies, Warrens etc, and there's a lot of things we can do to improve."
"So we are a lucky country, and I think particularly here in this region, Dubbo and Narromine as long as we all keep working together as one we're going to have a great country and a great place to live."
It has been Australia's lost summer. Drought, hail, floods and, worst of all, bushfires have ravaged communities all over the nation.
But the selfless actions of friends, family, neighbours, strangers, local groups and volunteer organisations have inspired us and strengthened the bonds of community.
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