Too many Aussies have let the side down recently

WITH Anzac Day and Australia Day behind us, I can't help but feel we are living a lie in this beautiful country.

There is always talk of the larrikin Australian, how our forefathers fought for our freedom and how popular we are around the globe. The other night watching Origin, though, I was truly devastated during the minute's silence for an Australian legend, Ron Clark, with the carrying on of a bunch of yobbos who could clearly be heard in the telecast.

What a disgrace, but sitting there I realised I shouldn't be surprised - a fair majority of our population seems to be so into themselves or "ourselves" that nothing else matters.

Sure we are the Lucky Country - but a very apt quote to remember is "but by the grace of God".

We could be a refugee looking for help, and surely we would expect help. That argument will rage on forever and of course there are both sides to it, but for mine we should be helping whoever we can.

Another thing that made me really sad occurred on a recent trip to Bali. For the first five days I was on a small island with locals and tourists - mostly surfers and divers - but then I spent three days on Bali itself and I am sorry to say I was embarrassed to be an Australian.

The Lucky Country full of larrikins has gone downhill at a rate of knots going by what I witnessed in the streets of Bali - beer-swilling folk, young and old, walking three or four abreast on the footpath with no regard for anyone but themselves. The same in the hotels - the whole ambience changed when groups of Aussies arrived and it wasn't for the better.

Of course there were plenty of good people as well, but for me they were overshadowed by people who were clearly into themselves and had no regard for the locals or anyone else.

That disappointment was galvanised at the airport before my departure. I was sitting with two middle-aged, well-dressed ladies who were whining about having to surrender their water at the gate. They were blaming the Indonesians, but in fact this happens at the insistence of the Australian Government.

As they carried their multiple bags of shopping and duty free to the gate, terribly perturbed about a $2 bottle of water and a $20 departure tax, this pair bagged everything about the place and the people.

That will do me - the next time I hear someone on Anzac Day or wrapped in an Aussie flag say "this is what our soldiers fought for" I will have to disagree.