DISCUSSION: What Does Australia Mean to You?

Australia Day is the next event on our calendars and in honour of our beautiful country, this week I thought we should discuss what it means to be Australian (and thankfully, most of you said you don’t need to watch cricket to qualify).

What does being Australian mean to me? It means we can have it all – sun, snow and gorgeous beaches (our land is girt by sea, remember?). Not to mention the variety of dangerous creatures with snakes, crocodiles and redback spiders to name a few…oh, and mozzies, my feet are itching right now at the thought.

koala


It means “mateship” and strange words and phrases that I would never use like “fair dinkum” and “bonza”. We are known for koalas, kangaroos and saying “g’day mate”.

We have a female prime minister (whether you like her or not – that’s a step towards equality) and a fair voting system where we don’t need to risk our lives just to have a say. We get through floods, fires and hurricanes with unique strength and strangers band together to help each other. We survived the financial crisis and have a strong Aussie dollar.

This is a country full of opportunities, we have a decent healthcare system and I love raising my family here. I feel lucky to be an Australian, we wear thongs on our feet and as much as we tease people for wearing ugg boots in public – we love them too.

I could go on and on about pavlovas, Vegemite and some of the best wine in the world. But I will pass the talking stick to you now – what does being an Australian mean to you and what are some of your favourite things?

I hope you have a lovely Australia Day, and take some time to think about just how lucky we are.

What are we going to give away this week? It’s from Labels to Love – the Tissu Letter Set and we are choosing one lucky winner this week. Participate by commenting below. The winners will  be contacted by email so make sure your address is current. Competition closes 24th January 2012 Midnight AEST. Australian residents only. Check back next Wednesday for a new weekly discussion.

12 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: What Does Australia Mean to You?

  1. Wow, I have so much to say about my feelings of being Australian.
    I am very Proud to be an Australian, we have a very strong sense of community and mateship. When the chips are down, we will be there for each other. We are accepting of all cultures, regardless of whether they accept our values (that is a bit of a let down sometimes). We do pull together in times of crisis and are generous to those in bad times.
    For me, being Australian, means having a bbq with mates every couple of weeks, it means wearing thongs and having a very strong beach culture.
    It is a tradition in my family to all gather on Australia day for a bbq, a laugh and some lamingtons and pavlova. We reflect on our past year and tell each other tales, good and bad.
    We fly the Australian flag off one of the palm trees for the day and everyone gets very jovial.

    One thing that has really saddened me in the past is that we, as a country have been asked not to have Australian flags, for fear of offending other cultures. HELLO, THIS IS MY COUNTRY, and I am bloody proud of it and we will never stop flying that flag. If you get offended by that, well you probably shouldnt be living in this beautiful country!!!!

    We are willing to share, but are YOU?

    On a nicer note “Happy Australia Day to all”.

  2. I’m proud to be an Australian because here in Australia men and women have equal rights with is something very important to me. Also I’m proud because when something like the Queensland Floods happen, everyone pitches in to lend a helping hand.

  3. I was not born here but moved here with my husband and 3 year old daughter. I was pregnant with baby number 2 at the time.
    We have called Australia home for over 21 years now.
    This country is amazing.
    Our health care system is fantastic. Oh im sure you will hear many people complain about how bad it is but I always think that they just dont know how lucky we are. They have no idea what its like to get sick in so many countries around the world where there is no health care or perhaps no health care for you because you dont have insurance and even if you do have insurance the insurance company doesnt cover this and it doesnt cover that so there will be a lovely bill for you face once you are back on your feet.
    If you lose your job here in Australia then the government will help you out with some money. Many people complain that the Dole isnt enough. They dont know that in so many countries around the world if you lost your job and had no income then its just tough lucky to you buddy. We are so lucky here.
    We have payments because you have a baby. WOW!! You decided to have this baby because you wanted to have a family and the government say well here you go..we will help you out with this lump sum payment and payments each fortnight. How amazing is that? They also help out with childcare costs, etc Its so weird because ive heard many people complaining that the payments just arnt enough and its not fair to woman who want to return to work and the governmant should do more. These people obviously dont know how lucky they are to live in such a wonderful country where if you decide of your own free will to have a baby the govenment will then help you out with money and im not just talking $5 here. Money…pretty good payments of money.
    The govenment help out with education costs something close to up to $800 odd a kid. Amazing when you think there are children around the world that dont have access to education at all because the families cant afford to pay for education fees.

    i could go on and on.
    Look…Bottom line is WE are all so very darn lucky to live here and be able to call this country Home. I will forever give thanks to Australia for embracing me and helping me out during the tough times and providing a wonderful place for my 3 children to live, be educated, have wonderful health care, feel safe and most of all be able to say I am Australian and I love my home.

  4. Being Aussie isn’t something you can really explain, it’s a feeling you have inside and when trying to talk about it to fellow Australians they will all nod and know what you mean without you saying more than a few words.

  5. Working hard, playing harder. We Aussies work the longest hours in the world (well they say we turn up for the most time). No wonder we are nation full of good mates, cool beers, midnight skinny dips and rockin’ beats. We deserve it, and with all the diversity that our large, underpopulated country has in its people, places and weather who could ask for more. If the rest of the world only knew what they are missing out on …

  6. Wow, all the above entries have said it all so well! I celebrate Australia Day by rejoicing in the fact that I, and my friends and family really do live in the lucky country. We are blessed and are so fortunate and I welcome visitors to our beautiful nation any time!

  7. Australia means to me mateship, beauty, support, fun and acceptance. Australians really know how to have a great time, be free spirited and friendly to all. I am English and moved here when I was 11 and this country has provided many opportunity, loving families and friends, beautiful country side and wildlife and a gorgeous husband. Thank you Australia I love you!!!

  8. Being Aussie is like being one of a kind. Yep, we’ve got vegemite (the best hangover cure ON sliced bread!), we’ve got koalas and kookas (that wake me EVERY morning at 5am with their laughter..by the way, whats so funny at that time in the morning…?)and we’ve got Crocadile Dundee as our national icon…We live in one of THE MOST amazing countries in the world and to put it frankly we are known for being one the friendliest, most laid back people in the world. That’s pretty cool indeed. Out of all the places I have visited in my lifetime, nothing, and I mean NOTHING beats the view and feel of the Australian landscape. Nor the Aussie climate- sure, it can be brutal and unforgiving at times, but where else in the world can you slug around in your thongs for pretty much the whole year round? Yep, you guessed it, not many…
    But the best thing about Australia is our Australia Day- who else in the world celebrates their country and being proud that they are from their country? Not only do we get a day off for being ourselves, but we get to spend that day with our fellow country-men and women and celebrate the fact that we live in this beautiful country that we call home. Now THATS the Aussie spirit!!!

  9. I love Australia, and feel so proud to call myself Australian. That I hate vegemite is a dead give away that I wasn’t born here. I have never understood why people say I’m Italian Australian, or Irish Australian, or whatever country their parents came from. I came to Australia as a 17 year old, but I’m only Australian.
    There is a song called Anthem [out of the musical Chess] When I hear this song I get goose bumps thinking this is just how I feel about this country, here are some of the words,
    She is eternal,long before nations land were drawn, when no flags flew when no armies stood my land was born, she is eternal.
    How blessed I am to be able to live in this amazing country.
    There are things that I see happening around me that I find concerning, but for me Australia day isn’t the time to dwell on any negatives

  10. I am very proud to be an Australian & think that we are lucky to live in the best country in the world. as I have posted previously I don’t like the cricket or tennis but I do like other sports. I know our country is a harsh one & I have traveled extensively throughout the outback of this land in places where roads don’t exist. This has to be seen to be appreciated as it is a stunning landscape.
    One of my proudest moments was being there for my neighbour (from Russia) when she decided to become an Australian Citizen. She was very emotional as she said we were her family now & this was her country.
    I don’t like the Americanisation of this country as I see this as a backward step. Even our spell checker wants American english!
    I love my country & would defend it to the end of time to protect our culture & heritage. This said I support all those who want to live in the best place in the world but believe they should be encouraged to assimilate & not the other way around as this causes a lot of friction & leads to bigotry & hatred instead of our wonderful tradition of mateship.
    I am proud to say I am an Aussie – oi oi oi.

  11. Australia Day is to celebrate our country and nation and be proud of who we are ,our freedom,independence,equal rights,multicultural and just so friendly and down to earth and always leading a hand to others.

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