Saturday, 26 January 2013

Oi! Oi! Oi! Australia Day!

Hamburgers for lunch.
Today is Australia Day when we celebrate the spirit of the Australian population.

We are a diverse bunch of people. Immigrants are encouraged to maintain their old culture as well as learning the Australian way of doing things. Racial vilification is a crime. There is no crime called vagrancy. We laugh at ourselves. Australians enjoy sport. We have annual holidays; some jobs have four weeks. We like long weekends, three full days, and these sprinkle the calendar. We use nicknames like Blue, Jacko, and Bazza. The Prime Minister is known by her first name, Julia.

Our ute run today
There is no obligation in this country to have a job. Australia has a government funded welfare system. Public hospitals and other public health facilities are free. The wealthy pay higher taxes than the workers. Public education is free for children, although schools do expect some monetary contribution for extras. University education is substantially funded by the government.

Australia has laws about gun control. We do not have the death penalty and we believe that inmates of correctional facilities should be rehabilitated through educational programs. Police and prisons have a duty of care towards those in custody.

Australia has no-fault divorce and husbands do not pay ex-wives alimony. (also the other way around.) Non-custodial spouses pay child support. There is only one basis for a divorce and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

There are no illegitimate children in Australia. That category does not exist. All children are of equal importance.

What am I doing to celebrate this special day?

I went in the Australia Day Fun Run this morning. Five kilometres in high humidity. Fortunately it was all over by eight o'clock. Thousands of participants. There was a free sausage sizzle afterwards for those who wanted it.

This is the 21 gun salute in progress.
Very noisy and very impressive.
One gun after another.
Later I went to the cenotaph to see a Hornet A40 fly over. Low and exciting. This was followed by a ceremonial 21 gun salute. Absolutely wonderful. Hundred of people were there to see it.

For dinner tonight we are having kangaroo steaks. Organic of course. These are available year round from my local supermarket. It is not possible to farm kangaroos. For those who have doubts about eating this food, kangaroos are shot by licenced contractors only when they are in pest numbers. It is strictly controlled by laws and regulations and actually is humane. (I am not a vegetarian although I do not eat a lot of meat.) The meat is handled at a proper abattoir just the same as other meats for human consumption. The meat of a lower quality is used for pet food.


  1. Wow, what a treat to learn so much about a country from one who lives there! Australia sounds wonderful not only to visit but to be a resident, as well. So glad you had a stupendous day! I don't know that I could eat Kangaroo if I knew what it was but then again I have never been offered any so who really knows.
    And those Australia shaped hamburgers! how cool is that.

  2. Hope it was a great day for all, Louise! I was struck, while reading your description of Aussie societal beliefs, how very similar they are to how we feel about things here in Canada. We are still missing the election of our first woman as Prime Minister, of course, but I hold out hope it will happen in my lifetime. (Or at least enjoying some burgers in the shape of my country LOL.)


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