With Australia Day on the weekend, it has made me think about our history and appreciate the hard times that our ancestors had lived through. We are so lucky today to have the freedom, the technology and the many opportunistic events within our lives. As I reflect back and acknowledge our history, it gives me reason to celebrate my love for Australia, the land, the lifestyle, the democracy and the people.
From our indigenous heritage, to those who have come from all corners of the globe to call our country home, we are united within our dynamic nation, regardless of where our stories began and our cultural diversity. Aboriginal people had lived on this land, that we now call Australia, for more than 65,000 years. On 26th January 1788, eleven convict ships from Great Britain, arrived at Sydney Cove, marking the start of a new colony on this beautiful land. Every year, Australia Day is celebrated as a national holiday to reflect on what it means to be Australian.
Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have mixed feelings about this day, as some consider it to be a day of mourning or survival of their culture. As they were the traditional custodians of this land… respect, trust and positive relationships have been promoted through the Reconciliation process. Australia Day aspires to be a celebration of our nation, gives recognition to all of our history and unites us all as Australian people in our diverse nation.
Farming was important from the very first day that the ships arrived in Australia. Sheep were one of the first domesticated animals to be introduced into Australia at this time. Within 50 years of their arrival, sheep had become the main source of income for the Australian agricultural industry. Originally, sheep were not raised for meat, but for wool, and quite quickly the Australian export of sheep became more profitable than any country in the world.
Nowadays, Australia is the world’s number one producer of premium quality fine wool and is the largest producer of all wools by value and volume. The total wool produced in Australia is 324,900 tonnes greasy (shorn wool prior to treatment).
There are around 70 million sheep in Australia, producing an average of 4.6kg of wool per head. The value of wool produced in Australia averages AU$3 billion dollars, which reflects the continuing strong global demand for Australian wool.
So with the recognition of our history and thinking about sheep in Australia, I thought it would be appropriate to share this photo from our property. It shows the heritage-listed shearers’ quarters that was on our property when we purchased it. The photo was taken in April 2017 when green grass actually existed here.
Rural Reflection #6…
I like this photo because it represents the little comforts of long ago, providing shelter and warmth… and sadly probably not much more than that. It also depicts in my mind, the hard back-breaking work of the shearers’ resting before another long day’s work. These shearers’ quarters are no longer in use, but as we drive past it every day on the farm, I acknowledge the history of this rustic structure with original timber walls and the authentic culture that lies within.
We need to all acknowledge the history around us and recognise the impact within our lives. Historical events have happened, well out of our control… but we have the choice how we react to these events. Incidents in our past, mould our personality and behaviour. We have the control to make a difference in our lives and the world we live in. As an Australian, I choose to enjoy the freedom in our nation, accept the wrongs that have happened in the past, let go of negativity, work hard for an industry that I love and be the best person I can be. What do you choose?
Take care, Karen.
“We are not makers of history.
We are made by history.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr