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Yes, I come from the Land Downunder. The suburb of Bayswater (after 26 years in Caulfield) in the city of Melbourne in Victoria which is a state of Australia to be exact. Most visitors reckon that we are a warm, friendly, helpful lot but I think we are generally 'alf a sandwich short of a picnic (of course besides my daughter and myself).
A young country (so far as "country" by name goes) we hang-about on the oldest continent and only continent nation completely surrounded by sea. Aus is also the flattest - mountains worn down long ago. We live right next door to our *reliable New Zealand mates (*but devout enemies in sport). Our character grew from the first settlers who were British convicts, immigrants from far and wide during the many major gold rushes, the harsh land the above had to endure, and the native aborigines who taught us how to endure and love this land (even if we often didn't acknowledge it).
Growing to eventually become a nation of people (proclaimed in 1901) and before the world became "global" through the instant electronic information highways Australia was always a long way from anywhere. To get things done quickly, or get things fixed, Australians had to learn how to survive in the world by making/fixing it our selves. Through that experience observers have often said that give an aussie a piece of fencing wire and he/she can fix or invent anything, although we are not sure if that's a compliment or just a dig about this vast land being little more than mile after mile of fenced paddocks. With stations (ranches) covering millions of acres there are a lot of wire fences so take your pick.
Our many native aborigine tribes mostly link back continuously over 40000-60000 years and are referred to as some of the oldest existing societies on the planet. Their social structures and laws linking back for such long periods put the rest of us on this planet to shame if bragging about how "socially advanced" we are.
Victoria is the sports fanatics centre of Australia so if you made it to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, we hope you popped down across the border (the northern states call us Mexicans!) and said 'gudday' to Victorians too. If you want to learn our lingo, and embarrass our yuppies ashamed of our unique heritage, there is a link to some Aus stuff on my general 'Links' page. Come to Aus anytime and chuck a prawn on the 'barb-b' with some osstrayleeyuns.
Melbourne (Victoria) hosted the original "freindly" games back in 1956. But little was shown/published abroad because Aus was the first to have enough guts to demand royalties for picture / television rights... that's right, the international agencies and journos (moral-less scum bags then as they are today) took their cricket bat and ball (i.e. spoilt brats) and went home reporting next to nothing. These days they fight each other to pay squillions for rights!
Australia is a big country similar in size to the US mainland but can only be populated mostly up and down the eastern, mid southern and south western coasts plus of course Tasmania and the top of the Northern Territory (the Northern Territory is not yet a state, but should be. Got the best people in Aus living across the top and in the centre - both Native and Caucasian). If you visit Darwin, buy a famous giant 'Darwin Stubby' (beer) and try and drink it while avoiding the crocks! ... "yeh, gedditinta-ya"
The huge areas of the 'centre' are mostly sparse desert areas and near desert areas reaching across to the west coast, that traditionally support Mining and our famed cattle industry on gi-normous cattle stations (ranches) where land / cattle support is more likely referenced in acres per head rather than head per acre. Texacans be warned! ... best beef, best lamb, best beer, our sheilas are "awright", and in most real (non yuppie) aussie pubs you will still come across a "Crocodile Dundee" type personality or two - our "aussie rules" and "rugby" footballers don't wear pansie pads either!!
Our current population is around 21,000,000 and many boffins think that the land cannot sustain much more population growth, and I think I agree after seeing much of it. Only nature and time will tell, but it is still a beautiful and very different country of wide open spaces... come to think of it, you can feel bloody proud to be an aussie - without needing constant reminders to feel proud!!!
n politics! Like most Australians I convey a deep felt profound regret - as openly offered by our government but rejected!! - for some things endured in the distant past by the Australian Native tribes, BUT I WILL NOT say the word "SORRY" so legally taking the blame for past events JUST SO a few mostly "white" lawyers and their groupies can cream off billions from resulting long term litigation; especially but not only in light of, it can be said, the often published apparent misdirection of millions passed through ATSIC that have never got to help the aboriginal people in the past.
Like most Australians I convey a deep felt profound regret - as openly offered by our government but rejected!! - for some things endured in the distant past by the Australian Native tribes, BUT I WILL NOT say the word "SORRY" so legally taking the blame for past events JUST SO a few mostly "white" lawyers and their groupies can cream off billions from resulting long term litigation; especially but not only in light of, it can be said, the often published apparent misdirection of millions passed through ATSIC that have never got to help the aboriginal people in the past.
As for the new age narrow minded do-gooders, it was the SAME do-gooders like politicians and religious zealots that caused problems in the past. Now even a few supposed aboriginals have turned racist!
So what of the tribal elders who rarely get heard in the media that want the crap to stop and the use of their people as political footballs to stop so we can all progress as one and equal; even if with some variance of needs. Few Australians have experienced the pleasure of a welcomed sit next to a billabong in the bush with aboriginal women and kids and be told with superior wisdom of the wealth of healthy food before ones eyes that "whitey" cannot see....
....and if a people are derided for dressing differently or their life style in their own community, who is the idiot? the one who makes a point of noticing of course; it could be such a wonderful world. "They made me think it was when I was there"!
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Our Flag, and bloody proud of it too!
stars are: our Star of Federation and the Southern Cross
our unique rich heritage is of our own making,
now as one nation our origin was that of a British colony,
the majority of us are still happy with a "A-Political" head of state!
if there is a "God", then God bless the world, NOT JUST Australia.!! ...go figure
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