Biographies - What It Means To Be Australian
From my perspective this is the essence of what it means to be Australian and a citizen of the world and contributing that Australianism to society. It’ll also help you to understand how we tick, as we can be very direct, don’t worry about saving face or skirting around issues ! Australians firmly believe in giving everybody a “fair go”, like to support the underdog & “don’t judge a book by its cover”. A fair days pay for a fair days work still rings true for many Australians & we work hard & then play hard. We work to live, not live to work. We are very direct & say things as they are, not to cause offence, but so that it’s out in the open & can be sorted out. Being humble & not "big-noting" oneself is preferred. We speak a highly modified version of English. We like to call everyone “mate”; it’s nice & simple that way. We’re not great ones for respecting authority or social pecking orders & aren’t very religious or obsessed with money. We're honest, laid-back, independent, resourceful, have a sense of humour & we play & follow our sport with a passion. Cheap public access is available to all types of sporting facilities. We have a fierce but friendly sporting rivalry with our New Zealand neighbours & have often fought together & laid down our lives in foreign lands in the true ANZAC spirit of democracy & freedom.

We’re also a great nation of volunteers with thousands of Australians from all walks of life giving their time for free each weekend, in emergencies or overseas, to help underprivileged children, fight bushfires, surf life save at our beaches, respond to natural disasters or help with the environment & at medical missions. We live an outdoors type of life with the beach, barbeques & beers always popular due to the climate & wonderful coastline. It’s clean, with little pollution & while we’re not perfect, along with New Zealand, we take great pride in caring for our environment, with large penalties & public embarrassment for any individual or company causing contamination.

It’s called the Land Down Under as it’s pretty well at the bottom of the globe. It is inhabited by some truly unique animals, blessed with natural resources & wonders & hosts the oldest organised civilisation known; the original indigenous inhabitants have been there for over 40,000 years. We could do far better with our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander reconciliation; even a simple apology (thankfully done by Kevin Rudd, Labour PM) by our government & move forward. We are great travellers as being so far away we tend to go for a long time & we pop up all over the place; a bit like going “walkabout”. We are a multi-cultural society with people from all over the world having migrated & taken up their Australian citizenship; we welcome genuine immigrants & refugees but have to be vigilant in these turbulent times, though our government has gone a little overboard lately. It’s a great place to raise children, has an excellent education system & one of the strongest performing economies in the world. We are indeed the “Lucky Country” & sometimes we forget, but a trip overseas usually cures that.

>> Brian Heath's Biography <<

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