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It only takes a room of Americans for the English and Australians to realise how much we have in common.
With Australians we're saying we're going to win before we start playing and pretty much keep on saying that.
On the same line of reasoning, if Australians were to be Australians, or rather if Australians were as separate from any other nation as Australia from any other land, there would be no jealousy between them on England's account.
As nations we should also commit afresh to righting past wrongs. In Australia we began this recently with the first Australians - the oldest continuing culture in human history. On behalf of the Australian Parliament, this year I offered an apology to indigenous Australians for the wrongs they had suffered in the past.
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
If you're Australian, you feel it in your bones because you're at odds with everybody else, except other Australians, in the sense that people always seem to be behaving strangely. People always seem to be behaving the wrong way, in a different way. You say things and there are silences.
In many traditions, the world was sung into being: Aboriginal Australians believe their ancestors did so. In Hindu and Buddhist thought, Om was the seed syllable that created the world.
On Australia Day 2010, as we enter this second decade of the 21st century, Australians can be optimistic about our future, but we cannot afford to mistake optimism for complacency.
Because the time has come, well and truly come, for all peoples of our great country, for all citizens of our great commonwealth, for all Australians - those who are indigenous and those who are not - to come together to reconcile and together build a new future for our nation.
There is no doubt that Iraqis, like Australians and Americans, love and desire freedom. However, if freedom doesn't mean the right to complete self-determination, unfettered by interests other than one's own, then that freedom is less than worthless - it's oppression.
Australians are coffee snobs. An influx of Italian immigrants after World War II ensured that - we probably had the word 'cappuccino' about 20 years before America. Cafe culture is really big for Aussies. We like to work hard, but we take our leisure time seriously.
The Philippine races, like all the Malays, do not succumb before the foreigner, like the Australians, the Polynesians and the Indians of the New World.
Is it possible that literacy standards are falling because young Australians are growing up in a culture in which they can be entertained and informed, and in which they can communicate effectively, without having to master any but the most rudimentary literacy skills?
On average, Australians watch more than three hours of television a day, compared with 12 minutes a day spent by the average couple talking to each other.
That was the big effect Lord of the Rings had on me. It was discovering New Zealand. And even more precious were the people- not at all like the Australians.
Faith is important to me. It's important to millions of Australians. It helps to shape who I am. It helps to shape my values. But it must never, never dictate my politics.
Australians have a free spirit and an ability to think outside the box, and that is why I like Australia so much.
Way back in October 2007, I had urged thousands of Australians to vote for Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett's Labor Party. Why? Because they promised to get tough on illegal Japanese whaling.
It's very easy for Australians living in big cities to either romanticise or demonise the situation in Aboriginal places - to kind of look at things through the 'noble innocents' prism or through the 'chronically dysfunctional' prism, and I suspect that is so often the case.
The idea of having Australians upset at me is just awful.
Sorry Day falls on the eve of Reconciliation Week, giving us the chance to ask whether we are making progress in the wider challenge of reconciling Indigenous and other Australians.
By 2050, the Australian population is expected to grow from 22 million to 36 million. That increase alone will put huge pressure on our towns and our cities. We will need more homes, more roads, more rail lines, more hospitals, more schools, just to accommodate so many Australians.
I am deeply committed to the cause of Indigenous Australians, and not just because of the Apology, but the big challenges which lie ahead in closing the gap.
We are so fortunate, as Australians, to have among us the oldest continuing cultures in human history. Cultures that link our nation with deepest antiquity. We have Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley that is as ancient as the great Palaeolithic cave paintings at Altamira and Lascaux in Europe.
Advances in science and medical research and public health policies have meant that life expectancy for Australians is one of the highest in the world.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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