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The power of Australia Day lies in the themes defined by the Australia Day Council – reflect, respect and celebrate. It is our thinking that brings us together, to better understand and respect each other, and to make the progress we need.

A good example of this is in the nation’s capital. Hundreds of thousands of Australians visit Canberra each year to better understand our national history and their place in it.

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The Aboriginal flag is now freely available for public use and will be managed in a respectful manner similar to the Australian national flag.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The sight drawn by Walter Burley Griffin over a century ago told a story. The old and the new Parliament talk about our democratic history; the High Court reminds us that we are a country of laws; the National Gallery, the National Library and Questacon allow us to look up; and the National War Memorial tells the story of duty and sacrifice.

Together, these sites tell of our future, and yet 95 years after the official opening of the first Parliament, it is an incomplete view. For there has been no permanent place of honor to recognize 65,000 years of Indigenous history. So a few weeks ago, we committed to establishing the Ngurra Cultural Precinct in the Parliamentary Triangle – between the hill and the water.

“Ngurra” is a word in many indigenous languages. It carries the meanings of country, home and belonging. It will be in Ngurra that Australians will discover and see not just the history of the last two centuries, but the story of 65,000 years of history, memory and spirit. It will be a place of reflection and recognition for Indigenous Australians, the oldest living culture in the world.

Ngurra marks another milestone in our national journey.

On Monday, we took another step by completing negotiations to secure the transfer of the copyright of the Aboriginal flag to the Commonwealth. This means that the Aboriginal flag is now freely available for public use and will be handled respectfully and similarly to the Australian national flag.

In an increasingly noisy and fractured world, we are growing together rather than apart.

We are a proud multicultural, multi-faith nation – the most prosperous in the world, I believe. Every Australian Day we affirm this great heritage. Today, in over 400 locations, more than 16,000 people from over 130 nations will become Australian citizens, adding their own talents, strengths and hopes to our common national fabric.

On this Australia Day, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Especially in these difficult times, there is much to be grateful for.

A story that spans 65,000 years; a continent of unparalleled beauty and wonder; a democratic tradition which is the foundation of our freedom; and our kaleidoscope of multicultural and multifaith communities.

Happy Australia Day!

Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia.