Patriotism is not about who does and does not count as an Australian, but lending a hand to those who need it.
That's the sentiment to be put by Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek in an Australia Day address at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday.
The former Labor deputy leader says this summer has seen communities at their most vulnerable and the country at its most generous.
"Without pause or hesitation, people have accepted their duty to each other as citizens, as neighbours, as fellow human beings," she says.
"This has been patriotism at its practical best; patriotism as the thread connecting us all as Australians."
She will call for all school students to be taught the Australian citizenship pledge, which states: "From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey."
Ms Plibersek, a daughter of Slovenian migrants, rejected the argument that patriotism is about exclusion and defining the boundary of who does and does not count as an Australian.
"Patriotism, like mateship, is about solidarity. It's about what we owe each other as citizens.
"Patriotism is the knowledge that we're not alone in this life; that our neighbours are there to share our struggles; that we have 25 million people in our corner when we need it.
"To love your country is not to assume it's better than others. Patriots don't need to feel superior to feel proud."
The Sydney MP used the speech to link patriotism with support for action on climate change.
"Because patriotism is not a single act. It's not something we do in summer and forget by winter.
"Patriotism is an ongoing commitment to your country - and an ongoing commitment to the people with whom you share it."
Australian Associated Press