Today is Australia day down under and all across this sunburnt country Aussies will be BBQing slabs meat to within inches of fossilisation, downing stubbies, chucking prawns on the barbie and playing beach cricket. Today is a celebration of what it means to live in the lucky country.
It’s also a time to remember our history, as colourful and turbulent as it has been. The Stolen Generation, War, and all the other problems faced by an infant nation growing in to adulthood.
It would not surprise you to know that I LOVE my country. I love it’s speedos, lifesavers, beaches, outback, bbq’s, sunshine, people and lifestyle.
Here are a few fun things you should know about Australia.
– Apparently the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.
– Australian mines (one of our most important industries, which accounts for 15% of Australia’s GDP) cover 0.02% of Australia’s land mass. More land is occupied by pubs. (Can’t find any statistics on the GDP here. My guess is: substantial)
– In 1954 Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Record Book: he sculled 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.
– The Tasmanian Devil does exist, and it has the jaw strength of a crocodile.
– Australia has the world’s largest cattle station (ranch). At 30,028 km2 it is almost the same size as Belgium.
– Female vote – Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
– Australia was the 3rd country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit. It was for the British, using a ‘Blue Streak’ rocket
– It is estimated that by the time transportation ended in 1868, 40 per cent of Australia’s English-speaking population were convicts.
– Police force – Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.
– Mass moonings – In 1832, 300 female Convicts at the Cascade Female Factory mooned the Governor of Tasmania during a chapel service. It was said that in a “rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor’s party could not control their laughter.”
– America’s cup – In 1983, the yacht “Australia II” ended the Americans 132 year dominance of the America’s cup.
– Dropbears – Dropbears are an evil species of koala that fall from trees and attack humans. The evil strain of koala don’t actually exist. The story was created to fool Americans.