Indigenous elder Aunty Sharyn Halls, who gave the Welcome to Country at the Hub's Citizenship Ceremony today, said she would "always have an internal battle on Australia Day, January 26".
"I believe I will never come to terms with it," she told the packed audience in Springwood during the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.
Aunty Sharyn said she was not only Indigenous, but a descendant of the "First, Second and Third Fleet" and grew up in a "Royalist" family, as well as one brought up in the Aboriginal reserve in Katoomba.
But she asked Australians to "come together, like through the bushfires".
"Our divisions are not making us heal ... we need to look after each other and not be so divided."
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese gave the Australia Day address and said he wanted to "come to a community that had been affected by the dreadful fire season".
"We are at a turning point. This is not business as usual, this is not even fire as usual ... the predictions [on climate change] have sadly been borne out."
But he also added that: "The worst of circumstances have brought out the best in Australians not the least of which is right here. Toughness, resilience, generosity, solidarity are characteristics that define our nation and somehow a sense of humour."
He asked the audience to remember the world's oldest culture, reiterating the need for an Indigenous voice to Parliament enshrined in the constitution.
"First nations people, including Aunty Sharyn today ... are remarkable in their generosity.
"It was a tragic triumph of brutality ... we cannot pretend our history began on this day in 1788, we cannot deny the trauma that accompanied the birth of Modern Australia."
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Aunty Sharyn pushed for more serious consideration of cultural burning to avoid catastrophic fire conditions like the ones recently suffered.
"It does give us a breather... and isan answer."
Forty six Australians pledged their allegiance to the country at the Blue Mountains ceremony, part of the 27,000 becoming citizens around the nation. Mayor Mark Greenhill said he was "really pleased to play a part in their story".