In this current time of uncertainty, restrictions and, hopefully, recovery there's a phrase that keeps running round in my head that may have lots to say to us all.
The Seekers Song composed by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton back in 1987 is eloquent - "I am, you are, we are Australian".
Whether we are descended from some of the earliest migrant arrivals after Captain Cook's time, or migrants more recently arrived to start a new life here in Australia, or descended from our original Australian Aboriginal forbears, the words of the song ring true.
This is our country, and of course, with the ownership, comes responsibility to act wisely and well and to recognise the rights and obligations impingent on each and all of us.
Our current time of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, on top of the drought and bushfire devastation and even flooding rain, reminds us that we are all in this country together, and not a single person can claim to be exempt.
With the gradual easing of some restrictions, each of us has to ensure that we are not endangering anyone else by irresponsible behaviour or disregard for the rules in place.
At the same time as we look at our personal responsibilities, we need to say a heartfelt congratulations and thanks to so many people who have gone well above and beyond their own personal safety and comfort zone so that others might survive.
Doctors and nurses might be in the lead here, but others like clerical, cleaning and support staff within the health and aged care services, deserve recognition too.
Our police and fire and rescue and ambulance personnel are all out there on dangerous territory and need our respect and gratitude.
Then there are individuals and enterprises making extraordinary donations in cash and kind for the assistance of the less fortunate.
It's against this background that we can truly join the Seekers in reminding ourselves and others that we are all in this together.
While many volunteers have been unable to make their usual contributions in the fields they know so well, there are still multiple acts of kindness around.
It will be good when our hospital auxiliaries are able to get back on deck.
It will also be pleasing to see clubs and associations of many descriptions who provide support and backup to schools, churches and so many other facilities return to some level of normality.
Hopefully, it won't be too long before we reach the next stage of folding down the restrictions currently in place.
However, unless every one of us obeys to the letter all of the regulations in place especially regarding social distancing and hygiene, then we can expect not a step forward.
Rather, we'll end up taking a step backwards if our carelessness has contributed to a flare up of the virus.
It was lovely to be able to assist at mass the other day at St Joseph's, only 10 participants as specified.
And there was certainly no shortage of hand sanitation, and even wipes to disinfect the place where you sat for the safety of the next worshipper.
This is not something from which any single person can claim exemption - as the little song says - I am, you are, we are Australian!
Let us support and encourage each other in these difficult times.
Sr Mary Trainor
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