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Our land of Cockatoos, Democracy, Immigration, First Nations – Australia Day

Australia Day Ambassador -; Community Partnerships - contact James 2 mins read

Our land of Cockatoos, Democracy, Immigration, First Nations - Australia Day

A personal yet universal story. This is such a deep day for me. In our  multi-cultural democratic society we have found home from the furtherest parts of the world.

As refugees, Australia gave passage to my family. There were so many atrocities, so many tragedies to escape from Hungary and Europe. Australia means so much. When I received my OAM it was for my parents and all those who made home there. Our democratic multi cultural society is a time to embrace us all. This year as an Australia Day Ambassador, I am being sent to Griffith where the Italian, British, and Sikhs are celebrating on the land of the Wiradjuri nation. I always love the First Nations opening. I have to enjoy a gelato, visit the Australian War Museum, bookmark the wonderful Sikh - Indian Festival in June. I shared time with Omar Singh last year when he was the Australia Day Local Hero of the Year. Where he and his team sent food supplies in floods and droughts and more. I love working with the Indian community. 

I have been an Australia Day Ambassador for 14 years and gone everywhere from Deniliquin, Urana, Tenterfield, Lachlan Shire, Wakool, Lightning Ridge ... to Lithgow.  Every community has been extraordinary as I was invited their real lives. I got bogged in the floods of Lightning Ridge, cried with those who lost their homes in the fires of Lithgow, crossed amazing country as thousands of sheep blocked our way in the massive lands of Wakool, travelled along the Edward River of Deniliquin and ate true meat pies baked by the Mayor. Our land is amazing, funny, quirky, filled with mates and stories that resonate. I love our cockatoos which define our country with fun loving and very naughty birds, who do love and annoy us and represent 'The Gang on Our Street' a picture book to share with adults and kids. Australia gives us all so much.

I went back to Hungary with my daughter, just before covid lock down, to write 'Heroes of the Secret Underground' HarperCollins Australia- part autobiography, fantasy, our history, stepping into 1944 Hungary from Australia. This is who we are. 

I will share this story and embrace the stories our community share.

It is a great thing to be Australian.

Susanne Gervay OAM

Susanne Gervay spreads hope through her books to young people and adults. Awarded an OAM and the Social Justice Literature Award by International Literacy Association, she reaches into the great issues of our time - feminism with Shadows of Olive Trees, disability Butterflies, harmony Elephants Have Wings, bullying I Am Jack books, vision The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses, Heroes of the Secret Underground championing young people, The Edge of Limits on consent. She co-heads the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.


Contact:- Australia Day Coordinators ; Contact - James 0413 050 922;

Key Facts:

Australia Day - a multi cultural democratic nation

From First Nations to Refugees  finding home in Australia

A personal yet universal story - Australia Day



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