Most of you have probably noticed that I have been more active on Facebook in recent times than I was in the past. Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologize if anything I have posted to Facebook recently has offended or upset anyone. That was definitely not my intention.
If anyone doubts how much I love Australia, then I would like to take this opportunity to let you all know that, to me, Australia is still the best country on Earth (in my opinion) bar-none. Apologies to all of my Kiwi friends... your part of the world is pretty decent too. So, don't take it personally.
Despite what some may be thinking, you can take the Aussie out of Australia, but you can't take the Australia out of an Aussie!
Over the past almost ten years in Guangzhou, I have taken every opportunity presented to me to promote Australia and do my best to enhance the Sino-Australian relationship, whether that be online, on radio, or on television. My Australian identity is part of who I am and is why people tune in. In 2017, I was honored to win the Young Australia China Alumni of the Year Award in recognition of the progress that I have made in this area. It's hasn't always been an easy journey, but I have always tried to do my best. Though, I admit, I haven't managed to convince many people that Vegemite tastes good yet.
At the same time, over the years, I've also grown to love China. This country has given me some amazing opportunities, I've been lucky to have made a lot of incredible friends, I've been to some pretty impressive places, and I've mostly only had great experiences. However, due to recent events, for some people, it might now be hard to understand why I love this country. I get it.
Though it might sound counterintuitive, it is actually possible to love two different countries at the same time for different reasons, and I acknowledge that some of my recent posts may have come across as one-sided.
It's not every day that you turn on the television in Guangzhou and see an Australian on the screen. I've worked really hard to get to where I am today, and I am glad that I have a platform through which I can express myself to Chinese audiences too. Hopefully, I've managed to let Chinese people see that, generally, for the most part, Aussies are a friendly bunch, despite what anyone (I'm looking at you again, Kiwis) might say. Tasmania could be an entirely different story, but that's a whole other post. I'm kidding, by the way.
I've decided that from now on, I won't openly express opinions that could be controversial on Facebook. I will continue to share bits of my life in China here for those who are interested and will just stick to positivity - because the world needs as much of that as it can get right now.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking back anything I've said, and I'm not trying to defend myself, I just don't want people to get the wrong idea about me. I'm still bogan and proud and would give anything for another season of Kath and Kim to be made. I'll take an on-special pack of Coles sausages over the world's finest cuisine any day, and I live for my visits back home when I can sit on the verandah with friends drinking Pure Blonde all afternoon. But I have also found a second home here in China, and I hope that the people that love and care about me can accept that.
I probably wasn't the most sensitive person a while back in this regard. In the past, if someone complained to me about Australia, my response would always be: "If you don't love it, leave it." Today, I don't expect others to follow this attitude, but I still personally live by that motto.
Once again, if I have offended or upset anyone, I sincerely apologize. You'll be seeing a lot more positivity from my end in the future here.
For all of the people that have found the last six months a challenge, my heart goes out to you.
I'm happy, safe, and healthy, and I wish the same for all of you.
Love ya, 'Straya. Hope you still love me too.