With thanks to Gramfan
I just picked this up from the comments section and I think its worthwhile to reprint the whole text including the link right here:
It sure makes good reading and it will warm many hearts. But I’m afraid something is missing. Guess what?
I will comment later. For now I invite your comments:
I’m so proud to be an Aussie
January 21, 2007 12:00am
Article from: Sunday Herald Sun
JOHN Ilhan writes: IT’S an important time to consider what it really means to be an Australian.
Australia Day is just around the corner, allowing us to express our patriotic feelings with pride.
Australia has given me everything. It has embraced Crazy John’s and allowed it to become a successful company employing hundreds of people. I met an Australian girl from Hawthorn who became my wife and now we are a loving family of six following the recent proud birth of our son.
Of course, nationalism can also be misdirected, as the events of the first day at the Australian Open showed when the destructive side of patriotic jingoism raised its ugly head. No matter what our background, we are Australians.
The loyalty first and foremost to Australia should also be remembered by some religious leaders, including some radical Muslim leaders in Australia, who pretend to speak for the faith, but instead promote intolerance and hatred. These thankfully are in the minority, but they should respect Australian laws and not preach division and fear. If they cannot respect Australian law then they should have their citizenship revoked or not be allowed back in the country if they are living overseas.
My Muslim faith qualifies me to strongly denounce any racist and inflammatory comments made by any Muslim leaders because they perpetuate a stereotype that is unhelpful and dangerous.
I am the proud son of Turkish parents. I missed out on being born in Australia by a few years, but each day I thank my lucky stars that I came to this country. Most people came to this country to build a better life. They should be thankful and grateful to be here. Therefore immigrants must learn the Australian way of life, culture and learn the English language.
For many Australians, the true awakening of our national identity was at Gallipoli. Each year thousands of young Australians travel to the Turkish coast to discover the sacrifices and courage shown by those young Anzacs in World War I.
In recent years there has been a growing appreciation also of the courage and determination shown by the Turkish troops in that battle.
I had relatives who fought in the First World War against the Anzacs, yet today, if there was another world war, I would fight for Australia without hesitation. I would die for this country.
I love Australia for what it stands for. It embraces opportunity, inclusion and, most important of all, mateship. What Australia has taught me is that if you give something – like the hand of friendship or provide a service that fulfils a need – you will be repaid many times over. They say that America is the “land of opportunity”, but I say Australia is. I’m a good example – a boy from Broadmeadows made good.
That is also why I am giving back to the community in the form of the llhan Food Allergy Foundation to promote research and education into food allergies that affect hundreds of thousands of Australians.
On Australia Day, I am lucky enough to be playing the role of an ambassador and will speak to a gathering of people in Melbourne about my family and what it means to be Australian. It will be a chance to celebrate with others what was the best decision my family ever made — to come to this wonderful country and the great city of Melbourne.
Australia doesn’t owe us anything – we owe Australia.
JOHN ILHAN is founder and chief executive of mobile phone chain Crazy John’s.