This Australia Day is different. Somewhat sad and somewhat new. It brings a mix of emotions bubbling to the surface.
My Australia Day afternoons would traditionally consist of being equipped with various cameras, including whatever version of iPhone I had, as well as my SLR (which I've now sold) and I'd catch the bus from home to the Victoria Park Transfer Station. Starting from the Causeway, I'd walk to the South Perth foreshore, across the Narrows and then along Riverside Drive until I reached my Maman's apartment. Photographing everything about what it means to be Australian, at least from a celebratory way of life.
My most memorable Australia Day was in 2017 when I was walking towards the Coode Street Jetty in South Perth. I was filming some of the planes flying over the river and one in particular was a small white one heading in the direction of the Causeway. It rolled slightly to the right and then appeared to over correct itself, as it rolled to the left. I stopped filming as the plane began to take a corner near the Causeway and head in the direction of the city.
Seconds later, the plane went down. The worst feeling of my life and it was confirmed with the high-speed priority one response from the water police.
Aside from the minor negative experiences, including various anti-social behaviours mostly from drunks, there is so much to enjoy and appreciate on the day. The smells of cooking meat on the barbecue, the laughter of children splashing in the river, the cheers of men playing a round of cricket on the grass, the sound of entertainers in colourful clothing and props... and best of all, the fireworks which begin with the heart-stopping tear-jerking song of I am Australian. A time of emotional reflection at what we've become and overcome.
But this year is different. There is no more apartment, which was such an incredible privilege I've been lucky enough to enjoy over the past ten or so years.
Now that my Maman has moved to France, I didn't feel the desire to walk around the river.
It was a beautiful day when I woke up and I still wanted to continue my tradition of making an Australia Day video. Something different. I decided to make one about our way of life, how we like to have fun and quite simply... how we talk and do things.
So enjoy. Have a fair dinkum Aussie Day mate! Oi oi oi...