The Aussie Long Weekend: What awaits? I'm sitting in the Perth airport, waiting for a straight flight to Canberra. It's a little surreal really, to think one is up for something like the Young Aussie of the Year. To be honest, I don't think about it too much at all.  It is an absolute honour, but I think about these things in the pragmatic way my family and funnily enough, rig life, operate:  it is what it is.

I can't influence the result in any way, and so I look forward to the weekend with a positive pensive outlook.  I'm looking forward to meeting people who are doing inspiring things, are movers and shakers, wise beyond their years and have hearts of gold. I am looking forward to making friends who will push me to be better than I could have dreamed of being.  Khair Inshallah!  I continue to find it amazing that someone who was born in Khartoum, Sudan to find themselves repping Australia, but therein lies the magic...

(If you're interested, it'll be broadcast live on ABC at 6pm Sydney time on Sunday).

Australia Day long weekends are often deeply immersed in national introspection, and this year, given the tumultuous year we've just had, reflections on who we are as a nation is even more important.  I've written a few thoughts here and there on some different themes: keep an eye out.

Crikey's piece on the Bali Nine today ended in an interesting paragraph:

But if nationalism has any value, it is this: that for those abandoned by everyone, we will make some sort of stand for them, by virtue of nothing other than that we share a land, a set of habits, a few collective memories. That needn’t be a prerequisite for solidarity, but it sure as hell should be an occasion for it.

At the end of the day, that's what nationalism is about.

A shared land,

a set of habits,

a few collective memories.

Sometimes that's all we need.

What does Australia Day mean to you?