Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

January 25, 2012

Happy Australia Day to all Australians & happy Republic Day to all from India.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Australia Day  lunch at Darling Harbour by my generous friend and colleague Australia Day Ambassador Susanne Gervay. It was a glittering lunch with the theme of Legends of Australian Football. Ron Barassi, Gary Ablett, John Raper, Billy Slater, David Campese, David Pocock, Joe Marston and Mark Schwarzer were all feted for their sporting achievements. Sponsor of the Australia Day lunch, Australia Post has issued a series of 2012 Australian Legends of Football stamps to mark the occasion. They are available from your post office.

The event began with Clarence Stockee and Matthew Doyle ceremoniously giving Acknowledgement to Country, through music, dance and song.

Sneaky Sound system performed ‘Pictures’ and ‘Big’.

Her Excellency Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales was the keynote speaker. With her usual grace and dignity she spoke about her own childhood growing up in Australia and what Australia meant to her and to many people.

Jennifer Byrne was a relaxed, amusing and charming MC, introducing the speakers and performers who entertained throughout the lunch. Roy Slaven and HG Nelson were at their best as they introduced and interviewed the Australia Post Australian Legends and presented them with a version of their stamp in gold. The Hon. Barry O’Farrell delivered an Australia Day Message. The event was resoundingly concluded with the Gondwana Singers singing the National Anthem.

Each table had Australia Day Ambassadors and their guests from various walks of life such as music, literature, medicine, art, sports and many others. It encouraged lively conversation and exchanges between us and many business cards were passed around. Kamahl was just two seats away!

The food was sumptuous, with dainty morsels of wattle-seed macadamia nuts, pepper-berry grissini with bresaola and pumpkin, fetta and lemon myrtle scone (the scone was the size of a ten cent piece, no kidding) for ‘pre-lunch’ nibbles. An entrée of smoked salmon and wasabi butter terrine with crab meat roulade and cucumber salsa, followed by a ‘surf and turf’ main course of melt-in-the mouth slow roasted grass fed beef tenderloin with poached sweet water crayfish tail, tiny tiny sautéed snow peas and the most delish truffled fondant potato; and a nice drop of merlot. As if this wasn’t enough, Peach Melba pavlova with raspberry gelato appeared in front of us – it was heaven in a dish.

I feel most honoured to have been invited to an event with people who are so passionate about their work and about Australia. Whether we are having a soaking in NSW or sweltering in WA, I wish you all a happy Australia Day 2012.

Australia Day Fireworks on Youtube

In 2009 and 2010, I was in India on January 26 and watched the exciting parade of floats, military, bands, musicians, dancers, motor bikes, tanks, people from every Indian state taking part in the Republic Day procession to India Gate. Speeches were delivered by the Indian president Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other VVIPs (though on one occasion the Prime Minister was unable to attend due to ill health). It was spectacular and unforgettable. So different from Australia Day held here on the same day but in each case the same tremendous pride in one’s country and heritage.

India 2009 Republic Day parade

I hope the 26th January gives us all something to feel glad and optimistic about.



  1. […] Happy Australia Day to all Australians & happy Republic Day to all from India. ( […]

    Pingback by Australia Day cheesecake | Gary Lum's Blog and website — January 26, 2012 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  2. Loved Sharon being there and it was a fabulous event – love Australia Day

    Comment by Susanne Gervay — January 30, 2012 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  3. I’m no longer positive where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or understanding more. Thank you for excellent info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

    Comment by roy pocock — March 21, 2012 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  4. I comment each time I especially enjoy a post on a site or I
    have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion.
    It is triggered by the passion displayed in the article I browsed.
    And after this post Happy Australia Day to all Australians
    & happy Republic Day to all from India. Trust
    Me, I’m a Storyteller. I was actually moved enough to drop a thought 🙂 I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay.
    Could it be simply me or does it seem like a few of these responses appear as if they are
    left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at other social sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Could you make a list the complete urls of your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    Comment by get rid pimples naturally — December 25, 2012 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. You are right I am very passionate about literature, books and reading. I also welcome comments from people who visit my blog and feel moved to respond to something. I enjoy reading each comment and no, I don’t consider any of the comments to be left by ‘brain dead individuals’ and am not sure what you mean by that. It sounds rather condescending and insulting to those who take the trouble to leave a comment, so I can’t agree with you there. Some visit this blog regularly and so might leave cryptic or shorthand comments.

    I don’t have a lot of time to regularly contribute to my social networks, such as UTS Alumni, ResearchGate,, SouthAsiaLit, Asia Pacific Writers and Translators, which I mainly use for work and research contacts. I am glad you enjoyed the blog post and hope you’ll visit again. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Comment by roundtablewriting — December 29, 2012 @ 9:05 am | Reply

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