Dear Estonians in Australia,
Life has delivered many bitter battles in the way of Estonians.
Estonians know the meaning of freedom, and we know what it’s like to lose it.
We honour those brave men and women who have fought and lost their lives fighting for the free and independent Estonia that we have today. We have also learned through our history that winning does not just happen, but that victory requires determined performance and sacrifice. The thoughts we have of freedom and victory today are expressed by lighting the symbolic fire in honour of winning the battle in Vonnu over 100 years ago.

Estonians’ Victory Day speeches often emphasise - Freedom is won when people are willing to do something bigger than what is needed for their personal well-being, without knowing where they will end up.

Dear fellow Estonians in Australia.
The concept of freedom echoes at all times, and it echoes once again today during this time of crisis. Today we are facing different challenges, but victory has the same attributes.
In times of crisis we are expected more of, we have to do, give, apply more, and this means that we have to change. Change is never easy. What we carry in our mind, we carry into our everyday life. But we may not think deeply enough about these things at ordinary times. It is the extraordinary times that make our life as we know it - pause, and listen to our way of thinking, our approach, our attitude. Change means breaking our existing behaviour patterns, and that takes a significant amount of dedication, conscious effort, and discomfort.

Every once in a while, something extraordinary forces a change to take place that we weren't asking for, and we weren't ready to deal with. Events can occur that force us to deal with change, evoking resistance, even emotions of fear, denial, anger, depression. And yet, dramatic events can turn into blessing.
If we CHOOSE to see the hard events as an opportunity to break the chains, then something good has come out of the hard times. Freedom is won when people are willing to do something bigger than themselves. It starts with personal realisation, personal attitude. When amplified, a different country will emerge from hard times.
One of the most valuable assets for the country is teamwork. Seeing the bigger picture rather than individual perspective, collaboration is what shines through in times like this. Here in Australia, the current times have seen willingness to implement the new by volunteers, companies, politicians. Funding is provided to focus on solving problems connected to moving beyond the coronavirus crisis. Foundations are established to detect and implement initiatives, innovations that burst to life by state of mind, by freedom of thinking, by courage of action. The business community has been able to make big decisions about how to move forward in the absence of physical workplaces and meetings. Cross-industry collaboration has risen to a new level and we are ready to face challenges brought by the crisis. New working practices and passion for technology are the two norms that are playing out well during the current corona crisis. Estonia emerged from nothing, by putting a massive effort into IT as their future. “Voting online, since ninety nine”, Estonians say. They have made it proudly rhyme, and so they should.
Estonia and other European countries already work online from home at least some of the time – meaning, a change of thinking from the old world to the new has already happened. These countries already have a history in innovation. Remote working is a result of a flexible mind, and can lead to a more balanced lifestyle and greater quality of life. For example, don’t we yearn for a lifestyle where nobody bats an eyelid if a parent clocks off in the early afternoon to collect a child from nursery, and is trusted to catch up with their workload later? This sounds like a balanced life, does it not?

Dear Estonians in Australia.
The current crisis has been called a war of our time.
How so? War is a situation where nobody wins, many will not return, yet something new and better will come out of it. How do we win this war, how do we celebrate victory day 2020?
What would victory be like?
I see victory as this – Victory is winning over ourselves when we say that we are MORE than what we have been taught at schools, or by life so far. Our attitude is innovative and collaborative. We have a freedom of mind.
The first level of interaction is based on humanity. This saw the volunteers rise. In that regard we, Australia, are the greatest of countries - no doubt. Next step is the social change. Coming out of the existing (social) box can be scary to many. Moving from ground level up not slowly, not over time, but as a "forced transformation". When life forces a change, then this is an opportunity. But it has also been emphasised – many of us, or businesses, will never come back again. The change may cost everything we ever had. But it may give back infinitely more in return. Fight or freeze. Be aware and Implement today.

Dreams don't cost anything, so dream BIG and BOLD. Go for it. Action creates momentum, momentum creates reinforcement and new habits create lasting transformation. There is a bigger and better world at the end of it. On this Victory Day, we celebrate the victory over ourselves. This may be the biggest of battles yet. SEE WHERE IT TAKES YOU. Happy Victory Day 2020 to all.

Sirje Jogi,