I am an Australian born to Italian migrants who came here after World War Two. I love this country and I feel so grateful that we are generally a peaceful and happy nation. We still have our issues but as a democratic society with free speech, these issues are always discussed, debated and protested about in a safe environment.
When there is a natural disaster, and we have plenty of them, cyclones, bushfires and floods we band together as a community to support and help. When our farmers are experiencing drought we come together to lend a hand.
We love our sport, our beaches, our unique animals and plants and our diverse landscapes. We love to celebrate with family and friends, eat, drink and be merry.
We aren’t perfect and we have made some pretty bad decisions historically such as the treatment of our indigenous communities. That’s why the quote from Tom
And … it did take our Government a while to legislate same-sex marriages but we got there in the end.
To use the words out of our National Anthem, let’s Advance Australia Fair.
10 things I love about Australia
Every time I land in Australia after being overseas the one thing that always stands out is the light. It’s bright and clear. The Australian sunlight became the emblem of a burgeoning nationalism. It was a new style of art coming out of the late 19th Century artist and was the basis of the Heidelberg School (Art Gallery NSW). These artists new a good thing when they saw it.
The weather is perfect. Just perfect. Sunny days and blue skies most of the year. Summer brings balmy evenings. There is nothing more fabulous than sitting on the verandah watching the sun go down with a cold Pinot Gris or an icy cold beer. Add in some Antipasta with crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic and you have the perfect wind down after work or a fun evening with friends.
The Indigenous culture
A wonderfully rich culture. Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders are true first people of this land. They have a special and spiritual connection to the land. Their commitment and kinship to family and community
Their rich culture is filled with song and Dreamtime stories that are vibrant and rich. The stories teach and explain about the natural wonders and the unique animals that exist in Australia. How they were created. The greatest is their creation story The Rainbow Serpent. As a young kid, I remember my beautiful Italian mother taking me to the library for the first time in Canterbury, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, for Storytime and to borrow books. The Rainbow Serpent was the story. From that moment one I was hooked. I have been
With a culture that is the oldest in the world, The Aboriginal people have occupied this land for over 60,000 years. Aboriginal peoples have coexisted with this beautiful land and have managed the land in a sustainable manner.
I am from an Italian family. My parents migrated here after WW2. Growing up I had a rich Italian culture that folded into the Australian way of life. My friends were, and continue to be Greek, Maltese, Chinese, Hungarian, Croatian and Italian. Australia is richer because of its diversity. Our community is filled with a broad range of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, There is a richness in our communities and every major city will have its own Cultural Festivals. The restaurants are amazing and there is always an opportunity to learn another Language or perfect your own.
It wasn’t easy growing up as a kid in the 1970s. As an Italian kid, my life was rich. There was some Racism during my childhood, especially in the 1970s when we moved away from a Suburb filled with other migrants to a newly established Suburb north-west of Sydney. We were teased because our lunches were different and my Sicilian mother would converse passionately in her dialect to us. Over the past 45 years, I have watched Australia grow into a Nation that accepts all people and all cultures. We are a harmonious society filled with cultures from many lands.
The unique animals
What more can I say. We have the cutest, the strangest and the deadliest animals in the world. I love that we have such unique animals. We have the echidna and platypus. Monotremes that are mammals that lay eggs but feed their babies with milk. Or the Marsupials that give birth to an embryo in their pouch and then grows and develops inside. Beautiful creatures such as Kangaroos, Koalas, Possums, Tasmanian Devils and Wombats.
I love when we take drives out of Brisbane and see the Wallabies at dusk feeding on the side of the road. On our honeymoon nearly 25 years ago we saw an echidna walk across the path in front of us in Cradle Mountain Tasmania. Here in Brisbane, Koalas are protected and supported in ensuring their numbers do not reduce drastically due to habitat loss at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary.
I have seen and heard Tasmania Devils scream. They do sound like devils possessed. In my neighbourhood, Ringtail Possums wonder around at night. In fact, we have one who walks underneath our balcony on the overhang from one end of the building to the other. I have yet to see a Platypus. But these are very elusive.
If you want to see more and discover that we have a Tree Kangaroo then you must watch the Magical Land of Oz. It is a beautifully shot documentary about the unique wildlife of Australia. It is fabulous, interesting and narrated by another Australia icon, Barry Humphries.
The natural environment
Travelling overseas is a pretty big thing for us Australians. Mainly because everything is so far away and it takes so long to get anywhere, especially to Europe and the United States. Well, not New Zealand. For us, it’s like popping over to visit a neighbour. But that’s okay because we have so many amazing places to visit that Mother Nature has provided for us.
We have rainforests in Queensland. The Rainforests in Australia are the oldest ones on earth. We have amazing beaches with the whitest, softest sand. We have the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Uluru and Katherine Gorge in the Northern Territory, the Blue Mountains in NSW, The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Cradle Mountain and Franklin River in Tasmania just to name a few. We have beaches, and forests, rivers and sweeping plains.
Us Aussies are a friendly bunch. We love to socialise with friends and family. A BBQ, meet up at the pub, a picnic or brunch is the perfect excuse to enjoy the company of others.
When others are in trouble we band together to help them out. We are accepting and we give people a go.
The road trips
I have spent my entire married life with my husband taking road trips around New South Wales. We have also taken memorable road trips around Tasmania during our honeymoon and when visiting again ten years later with our daughter. Now that we live in Queensland we have a whole new State to continue our love of road trips and visit new places. Australia has so many unique and exciting places to visit all of them unique to each other. We plan to visit the rest of this nation and still need to go to South Australia Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria. There is nothing better than driving through this majestic land of ours, stopping into towns on the way for lunch and Devonshire tea or a cold beer at a pub and meeting new people.
Australia is home to world-class theatre, film and art. We have been privileged to have and continue to have talented artists, musicians, actors, dancers, photographers and writers. In Australia, we find our cultural and political voice on our stages, our canvases, our studios and on in front of and behind the camera. When we have a point to make, to protest we use our art forms as a platform to extend our opinions and beliefs and values. We fight for justice, highlight adversities and champion for the minority through our novels, poems, scripts, paintings, photography. Through choreography, paint strokes, the pen and performance we extend our voices. The Art is always unique and strongly Australian.
The States and T
I have been fortunate to visit most of NSW. Born and bred in Sydney it was my background and so road trips, weekends away and holidays were more accessible and cheaper. We toured most of Tasmania. On our Honeymoon and on a family holiday ten years later. Living in Brisbane we have a new State to explore. Australia has six states: Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia; and two Territories: ACT and Northern Territory. Each State and territory have a lot to offer. Places of interests, natural environments and cities that have their own characteristics and culture.
The brilliance of our States and Territories
Disclaimer … the following is only a small amount of some of the places, wildlife and people that are wonderful, unique and fabulous in our States and Territories!!
Queensland The Sunshine State
Queensland is just perfect. Perfect weather. Perfect places to visit. The people are the friendliness on the Eastern seaboard. It is home to The Great Barrier Reef one of the great wonders of the world. It has the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast with pristine clean beaches and fabulous surf. It is the food bowl of Australia. It is home to the oldest rainforests in the world. Luscious tropical islands frame the Northern subtropical coastline.
New South Wales The First State
The first state to be settled by Europeans in 1788 it has both gorgeous natural and man-made icons. NSW has the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. In winter the world acclaimed Vivid Light and Music Festival illuminates the Sydney winter sky. You can play on the beaches on the Far North, Central and Southern Coasts or ski to your heart’s content in winter in the Snowy Mountains. Thredbo and Perisher welcome all ski bunnies and dudes. It has historical country towns in the West and Byron Bay with its alternative culture and the Blues Festival.
VictoriaThe Garden State
Victoria is known and loved for its quaint country towns that are dotted across the State. You have the quintessential coffee and cafe culture. The iconic Laneway Festival was born in Melbourne. It is home to the protected Fairy Penguins that call Phillip Island their home. There’s the MCG and Aussie Rules Football and the majestic and beautiful Mornington Peninsula and The Great Ocean Road. It has historically been home to the highest Greek population outside of Greece.
TasmaniaThe Apple Isle
This island State off the southern coast of Australia is the country’s gem. Of all the States and Territories it has the largest protected wilderness areas. The Franklin River, Cradle Moutain and Wine Glass Bay are just the tip of the natural environment that takes your breath away. It has a rich Convict History and emerging world-class wine industry. The State is home to a rich arts culture with the Moma and its theatre culture. This is currently the fastest growing State economically. Australians are discovering a good thing when they see it. If you love sailing then there’s the annual Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. South of Hobart lies the Huon Valley filled with artisan food and crafts. The Historic Port Arthur is an important part of the Australiana Convict History and a world heritage listed site. A Place of contrast with the beauty of its location and violent history. When we visited we found it a ghostly mood about it.
South AustraliaThe Festival State
The capital city of Adelaide was previously known as the City of Churches. South Australia is the only State settled by free settlers. This State has a lot of eclectic wilderness. There is the wacky town of Cooper Pedy found in the outback north of Adelaide. The majestic Kangaroo island in the Southern Ocean and the Barossa Valley where some of the best wines are produced for both the Australian and World markets. They have the world famous Fringe Festival. The arid and beautiful Lake Eyre whic is a great salt lake is found in the north of the State. It is normally dry but when it floods every eight to ten years it becomes a breathtaking oasis.
Western AustraliaThe Real Thing
Western Australia is a State that occupies the entire Western side of the Australian Continent. It is our largest State. Perth is considered the world’s most isolated city. Western Australian Gold Mine in the Pilbara Region is home to the purest Dingo population. In the north, there is Broome with the world famous Cable Beach and camel rides. The Swan River in Perth is home to the majestic Black Swan. Rottnest Island located off the coast of Perth in the Atlantic Ocean is home to the adorable Quokkas and home to Southern Fur Seas and the Australian Sea lions. This State also has a world-class wine region in the Margaret River. The
Northern TerritoryOutback Australia
The most poignant and beautiful Territory. It has the youngest population in any Capital city in Australia. It is filled with breath-taking wilderness unique to Australia and the world. Everything in this Territory is big and majestic such as Katherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park. It is home to ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and has a rich Aboriginal culture. It is home to the sacred Aboriginal site of Uluru and the Alice Springs Camel races. Darwin was the only city that was affected by World War 2 when it was bombed by the Japanese. It is hot and humid in Summer and mild in Winter. The territory experiences Monsoon weather and cyclones along
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)The Bush Capital
The home of our Nation’s capital Canberra. This is where our Federal Government resides. The ACT was designed by American architect Walter Burley Griffith and has the widest, and most functional streets in any capital city in Australia or the world. Its layout is in the shape of a wheel spoke design rather than the traditional grid system. In the centre of the city is the man-made Lake Burley Griffith which was created in 1963 when the Molonglo River was damned. It was chosen as a site in the middle between Sydney and Melbourne. The most poignant place in
If you are an Aussie, or are living in Australia, or have visited Australia what do you love about this wonderful country? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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