If you want to know what it means to be Australian, just hop on the train, says Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush.
Speaking at an Australia Day event on Friday, Rush said he regularly marvelled at the eclectic crowd he shares his train rides with.
"I get some strong sense of our multi-dimensional character every day just sitting on the train as I commute," he said.
"On that train, we all quietly have so much in common - we are all texting someone else who's not on that train."
The Oscar winner said he is reminded of the diverse Australian character every time he is dropped into the mix at Melbourne's Flinders Street Station.
At a blustery MCG and with fires raging in parts of the State, Rush chose to recite Dorothea Mackellar's poem My Country to express what he thought it meant to be Australian.
As if on cue, the winds picked up and turned the sporting arena into a temporary turbine just as the acclaimed Australian thespian said the iconic "I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains" line.
Hosting the event, National Australia Day Council chairman Adam Gilchrist said the national day gives Australians the chance to reflect on the country's shared achievements.
"Once a year we have an extraordinary opportunity as Australians to celebrate the good things that we share and to reflect on the past," he said.
Australia Day ambassador and celebrity chef Elizabeth Chong said despite being raised in "two worlds", she was equally proud of her Chinese and Australian heritage.
"My father introduced the dim sim to the mass market, so that's a real Australian icon," she said.