What Australia Day is to me

What is Australia Day?

I often hear people ask, “What is Australia Day?” To each of us it represents different things. For some it is just a day off work, to others it is a day of celebration, a BBQ with friends and family in the sunshine or a day to pack up an esky with cold snaggers and a few cold drinks and go watch the fireworks.

Or it could be a day of reflection, time to think about the European and Indigenous history that bought us to where we are today.

Google certainly put that thought in forefront today with their Google Doodle. Across the internet and social media are all the debates and pros and cons of the latest image. The theme was “If I could travel back in time I would…” and the young artist portrayed “a weeping mother sitting in an ochre desert, dreaming of her children and a life that never was… all that remains is red sand, tears and the whisper of her stolen dreamtime”.

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Wow, how poignant. If you hadn’t before thought about how this hugely diverse population and can-do nation came to be, this artwork gives you a story to start with, reminding of the price that Indigenous people paid for our privilege.

Many Australians are aware of the past atrocities that occurred and others bury their head in the sand in ignorance of the past. Google puts it right out there with this amazing artwork as a tribute to Australia’s indigenous in a reminder of what the British settlers, early people and past politicians did.

It is sad what happened to the Aboriginals back then, how the Government treated their people and we can all learn from aboriginal culture. Unlike other countries, as an Australian child I did not learn about Aboriginal culture in school and not sure if it is included in all school curriculums today. If not, I believe that should change, we shouldn’t ignore what happened and just move on are to continue to build a positive future. Australian children and all Australians should be taught to understand the culture of our first people without being made to feel guilty for what the settlers did as ignoring our indigenous culture and history creates a lot of negativity.

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I support an Australia Day of multiculturalism and want to celebrate our country and the beauty here. After all, diversity is Australia’s strength and we embrace the diverse cultures of our immigrant Australians in the Aussie spirit of eat, drink and be merry.

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Food is a perfect example of some of the cultures we have learnt to accept and understand. Whilst this may conjure up a vision of “bush tucker” with our indigenous people’s unique hunter gatherer diet of witchetty grubs and bush berries, the British also strongly influenced our culinary taste. Today roast dinners of lamb or beef, the Aussie meat pie and fish and chips remain hugely popular.

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The good old Aussie BBQ reinforces meat as the core food in our cuisine. A great love affair with meat, our great weather and our love of the outdoors, put the barbie among our favourite cooking methods and past times. At the heart of Australia Day is the snagger, banger or the good ol’ beef sausage. There’s something about a snag in a roll or slice of bread and today many a Bunnings store will have queues of DIY’ers indulging this great Aussie passion.

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I doubt there would an Australia who today would not have started their day with Weetbix and a Milo or some toast and Vegemite.

AustraliaDay20Maybe for lunch, another Aussie icon, a hamburger with beetroot, a Chiko Roll, or if from the West a Mrs Macs pie and if in the East probably a Four & Twenty pie. A classic for dinner tonight for those not going to the Australia day fireworks might be to head down to the local pub for their ‘Pint and Parma” special, a chicken parmigiana and a beer. Then for a treat a massive slice of pav for dessert.

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Those waiting at the vantage points to see the fireworks will possibility have a snack on Sao’s, maybe some fairy bread for the kids and some cold sausages. Seafood is another Aussie favourite so another popular picnic meal would be a prawn roll. Or something sweet for afters? How about a lamington or a few Tim Tams?

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As much as I love travel, Australia is the best country in the world and I for one will be celebrating that we live here. I am happy I was born in this beautiful country and very proud to call myself Australian.

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Australia Day is the perfect time to showcase life down under and our major landmarks like Sydney Opera House, Uluru, Bondi, MCG, etc. But I want to include a few photos of the less known landmarks in the west like Wave Rock, Pinnacles and the Kimberley’s.

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Now we’re off to Bunnings to grab a sausage in a bun and get on with celebrating the fact we live in such a wonderful country, full of wonderful people from all over the world.

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Let the fireworks begin… Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi

 

What does today’s Google Doodle mean to you? How will you be spending Australia Day? Please leave a comment below and let us know below.

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Australia Day

Today, 26th January is Australia Day. A day we celebrate all things Australian to commemorate the First Fleet landing at Sydney Cove with the first group of British petty criminals, our very first European settlers in Australia.

Following the British we had Irish, German and other Europeans and Chinese. After the Great Depression we had 5000 Jewish refugee families from Germany arrive. The Ten Pound Poms were the next influx after World War II when Australia launched a massive immigration programme targeting citizens of Commonwealth countries. Having narrowly avoided the Japanese invasion it was decided populate or perish.

And populate we did, hundreds of thousands of Europeans and over one million British immigrated.  The scheme was extended to include other countries. Entry was uncomplicated; in sound health and under 45 years, with no skill restrictions

This brief background brings us to where we are today, a hugely diverse population and a can-do nation.

Our Australia Day long weekend consists of all things Australian. Sunshine, snags, fireworks and friends and is the perfect time to make the most of our beautiful hometown, Perth.

The Australia Day fireworks celebrations in Perth are recognized as the largest across the country and today is the day many celebrate being Australian. It is also the day many residents born overseas decide to become Australians. After all, diversity is Australia’s strength and together we embrace the cultures and cuisine of our immigrant Australians.

There are fireworks planned in Fremantle, Ashfield and Armadale for those who do not want to travel into the city.

We only get to be this patriotic once a year, but we do it in bloody style. I’m fair dinkum Aussie and proud of it. Whether, like me and born here, like Steve and grew up here or are amongst the newer arrivals to this wonderful state, the whole community gets behind the amazing event of Skyworks.

Each year we see many families from diverse cultures come together as one to celebrate the many free events with smiles on their faces.

Perth holds other fireworks shows to celebrate within the community. Bassendean this year held the 11th Australia Day Concert fireworks. Minnawarra Park has children’s activities, free entertainment and carnival rides, etc. Bathers Beach in Fremantle with again host a seaside alternative to the skyshow with an ocean skyshow.  James Mitchel Park in South Perth, Memorial Park in Mosman Park and Perry Lakes Reserve hold the largest of many community citizenship ceremonies in true Aussie style.

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Where and how did you celebrate Australia Day?

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A weekend in our neighbourhood

Australia Day consists of all things Australian, sunshine, snags, fireworks and friends.  And a long weekend is the perfect time to showcase life down under. Now we all know the major landmarks in Australia, Sydney Opera House, Uluru, Bondi, MCG, etc. But we want to show you our beautiful hometown, Perth. Our neighbourhood, where we work and where we relax.

Friday night, the end of a long working week and we head down to our favourite city, Fremantle. Fremantle is where Steve works and we had a table booked to share a meal and catch up with a good friend at Maya Indian restaurant. After all, diversity is Australia’s strength and we embrace the cuisines from the diverse cultures of our immigrant Australians. Following our amazing Indian feast, we take a leisurely walk to San Churros for dessert. After our chocolate fest we agree we need to walk it off, so we meander through the numerous alleys and lanes. Spilling into the streets are the aromas of the foods from a variety of cultures and the sounds of music and laughter from the many pubs. We stop and admire some of the street art and decide we will come back during the day one weekend and take more photos to share. We continue strolling for a while, enjoying the cool night air, before heading home.

Saturday morning and we awake to the perfect weather for a wander around the streets close to home. We live in the southeastern corridor of Perth, a suburb with an emphasis on sustainable living and a significant portion of our suburb consists of swamp bushland. We mosey around admiring the trees and stop to take a few photos. I love the contrast and colours of the Banksia with serrated dull green leaves and cylindrical, flower spikes of pink, yellow and bronze.  But the bright, cheerful Australian Christmas Tree, (Nuytsia Floribunda) is a favourite. I also love the Red Flowering Gum, (Corymbia Ficifolia) which has been planted on the verges in our street and make a wonderful display with our Bottlebrush (Callistemon) and bird attracting Grevillias. The contrast of the orange from the Nuytsia and reds from the Flowering gums are really impressive and these two trees flower in Perth during the Christmas season making a spectacular display in a bush setting. The other trees quite prolific in our area are gnarly Paperbark trees, (Melaleuca) with its flaky, exfoliating bark as they are found in watercourses or along the banks of swamplands.

After our walk we drive to the local council gardens, a few streets away from the office where I work in Cannington. We relax and enjoy the surroundings, inhabited by two black swans, swamp hens, a variety of ducks and coots. The swans are very graceful and swam for a while before curling up for a sleep. Swans are monogamous and these two have just finished raising six cygnets which have recently left area to make a new life. Whilst watching the swans a flock of white cockatoos flew over and grazed in the shade on the grass.  Together we while away several hours relaxing in the cool breeze on a bright and sunny morning.

Come back and join us and we’ll take you along on a tour with a difference.

This post is linked up with Rambling Woods

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