As Australia Day again approaches, I am reminded how greatly we are blessed here and shall attend the day's ceremony with joy.
But, annoyingly, I can't just ignore the rest either - Australia's problems and the risks we face.
I'm not proud that our country is falling behind in education, in equality, in anti-corruption, biodiversity, research and value-adding.
Not proud that we act inhumanely toward asylum seekers, or that we can still be taken in by hateful bigotry, blaming the victim.
Not proud Rupert Murdoch is Australian-born, and we remain so swayed by his archaic politics and media, engendering division.
Not proud that we have, so far, the world's weakest response to climate change, that science is denied and we still believe naive myths about bushfires.
I say all that because I love my country and I see those as weaknesses for fixing.
But not everyone agrees, so we need more discussion, for sure.
Education is without doubt the only viable way to move forward through our differences - more facts, less spin; more free-sharing of ideas without fear or anger, like adults no less.
Unfortunately, however, for quite a while Australia has been heading in a different direction, down the path of 'education for work', to the great detriment of 'education for life', and we suffer from it.
We suffer the lack of encouragement to question, and to analyse competing ideas.
Most sadly, we seem to have lost any sense of vision.
It is because I love my country that I pick it to pieces for its weaknesses, otherwise how do we begin to know what we might need and how to help us move forward?
On Australia Day, let us rejoice but not fall into the trap of mindless flag-waving.
When we sing 'we are one and free', it is a goal still, not achieved.
A work in progress through hopefully our mutual commitment.
Enjoy the day, and all the activities it brings, including the chance to spend time with family and friends.
Cr Intemann's opinions are not necessarily those of council.