AustraliaI am the National Flag of the Commonwealth of Australia. I belong to you and every Australian equally and freely. I was conceived before the dawn of the century. I was adopted on that sparkling spring day, September 3, 1901.

Whenever free men gath­er, wherever there is justice, faith, charity and truth, thereto am I.

At the tender age of 14 years I received my baptism of fire, in World War One. 1 flew proudly in those early days as we heard the call to do battle alongside those of our own kin. I was carried up the steep hills of Gallipoli. I was there with the men in the trenches. I watched Simpson bring out the wounded on his doughy little donkey. I breathed the dusts of the deserts and rode in glory with the Light Horse bri­gades. I saw our finest sons fall and lie still in death. They had given their last full measure of devotion.

With our explorers I have crossed the icy waters to Antarctica, I have climbed the heights of Mt Everest.

Then came 1939 and once again we heard the beat of the war mongers’ drums. Again my heart went out again to our brave sailors, soldiers and airmen. I was there with them, in the Middle East, in New Guinea, Malaya, Borneo and many other places. I was trodden in the mud, reddened with the blood of those brave young Australians so ruthlessly murdered in the prisoner-of-war camps.

I watched and praised the endurance and spirit of our volunteers in Korea. I, too, felt the suffering of our brave sons and daughters in the forces in Vietnam. [I was there to inspire our troops in Iraq].

Oh My People – you have given so much to be Australian and I am proud we are one. Through trial and triumph – look at me and remember our heritage and realize our great future. Together we will grow and all the world will know.

You must never allow those who seek to reduce di­versity into dust – to grind our treasures into a melting pot, and as you consider the future of your own true identity remember – I was there in your every hour of loss, your every moment of glory – so too – I will be there in all your tomorrows.