As a nation we like to think of ourselves as lucky, blessed. We like to think we are fortunate and brave.
But this year we have struggled. It feels like at every turn we have been kicked in the guts. And many of us are bruised, hollow, haunted.
Just in the last month a simple Monday morning changed violently, rapidly into 17 hours that changed our nation. Then just days later the deaths of eight children in Cairns, stabbed, allegedly by the mother of seven of them left us weeping.
Yesterday we watched silently as teams of volunteers removed the floral tribute in Martin Place, and as we saw these images we did not feel sadness anymore, but hope and pride in the unity of our nation.
When the victims of the tragedy were broadcast on our screens we gazed at the faces of three small children from Perth – Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin and a small part of our bravery fell away.
It’s been the year where we anxiously watched the search for two small boys on two opposite sides of the country.
And even back in January 52 homes lost and the life of a 62-year old man when bushfires razed the Perth Hills.
And yet there has been a shining light in each and every single one of these times our nation was wounded.