Tomorrow is Canberra Day. It originated from the date on which our city was officially named: March 12, 1913 but it falls on the second Monday in March whether that is the exact date or not, presumably to give us the long weekend we all deserve.
It's a celebration of our good fortune to live where we live.
And make no mistake: we do live in one of the most pleasant places on this planet. At this time of year, with the hint of a chill in the crisp morning air, the beauty of the pristine Brindabellas is a joy. Canberra is big enough to have the amenities of a city but not so big that it has become an anonymous urban agglomeration. There is such a thing as community here.
Crime rates are low compared to other states and territories. As ACT Policing put it in 2018: "Canberra is the safest capital city in Australia." By and large, we feel safe on our streets by day and night.
Economically, we do well compared with other states and territories. The unemployment rate in the ACT is around 3 per cent compared with 4 per cent nationally. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Canberran has a higher income than the average person in any other state or territory.
But we should also remember self-satisfaction - sometimes called smugness - is not an attractive trait. Good though life is for many Canberrans, there is always room for improvement.
On homelessness, for example, the ACT has much to do. It is middle of the range; better than NSW and Victoria but worse than Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
And public transport underserves people so they rely on cars. Canberra is a car city and that sits uneasily with the ACT government's repeated bragging about its green credentials.
But these caveats are mere blemishes in what remains a highly attractive and pleasant place in which to live and work.
So we should celebrate Canberra Day with full hearts and broad smiles. There will be balloons - up in the sky and on strings held by countless children. There will be an international feel, particularly with the food. In the evening, prominent buildings will be lit up.
It will be a celebration of our good fortune, all the better as we emerge from the pandemic.
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