NATIONAL PRIDE: Clean Up Australia Day ticks all the boxes
NATIONAL PRIDE: Clean Up Australia Day ticks all the boxes Mike Richards GLA180816VIET

OPINION: Could this weekend be a better day for our nation?

FOR most of our working hours, myself and my colleagues live in a sealed cube - aka the modern office, separated from the natural environment.

If you're like me and too lazy to walk or cycle to work, chances are you can pass entire days without having any sense of the natural world.

Days like Clean Up Australia Day encourages us to bring the environment back into sharp focus.

It's a chance to think about our impact and to think about what we are doing to our marine life.

In this way, it's a chance to reflect on the damage we have done but to do something positive about it.

Is anyone else with me in thinking this could be a good date for Australia Day?

Unlike Australia Day, where some people have one too many drinks at a mandatory sausage sizzle, Clean Up Australia Day has integrity.

Only starting in 1989, admittedly the clean up does not have the historical pull of January 26.

But if we stick with it, stay with me here, in 200-odd years, it will seem old.

Clean Up Australia Day is something Australians can all feel proud about.

Not only was the event started by an 'average Australian', Ian Kiernan, a builder and yachtsman, it has since gone global.

In 1993, Clean Up the World was launched.

In its first year it involved about 30 million people in 80 countries, according to the official clean up website.

I don't know about you but as an Australian that makes me feel pretty proud.

Clean Up Australia Day is on this Sunday. To find a registered event near you, go to

Gladstone Regional Council will be collecting rubbish from designated clean up sites within the region.

Julia Bartrim, journalist