Judging from the competition we're running on Facebook most of you will be cooking up a barbie on Aussie Day, washed down with some refreshing beers and a bit of cricket. As a pommie I just see it as an extra day off work, but I can't help but join in as we practically enjoy the same activities: Drinking and eating MEAT. Also the fact that Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and should celebrate this fact, so slap on your suncream, gather the snags for the barbie and get your Warne on for some backyard cricket!
If you are after something funny to wear or some Aussie accessories such as flags, Crocodile Dundee hat, wigs and stick on tattoos then get on to our Facebook Page now to be in the running for a BONZA prize!
Here at the office our warehouse pommie Jay-Jay who some how has manged to worm his way on to the marketing manager's chair, shared his thoughts on Aussie Day and asked around the office on how they will be celebrating...
Being culturally aware I thought I would ask some of the “true blue Osstray-yans” here in the office, what they remember about being a kid on Australia day and what makes the day so special for them. I decided to start my journey of discovery with Ashley (she’s sitting nearest to the desk I’m typing at)
“It was always hot, we’d play in the pool at mum’s, drink lime cordial and there was always a BBQ”.
A good start. Now it seems those traditions continue, but at her big sister’s, Fiona “Fee” also works here and for journalistic integrity I asked her what she remembers and got similar answers:
“BBQ, pool, hot” and an extra comment about an annoying little sister bombing in the pool. What is it like now? “It’s the same as it was”, says Fee, “the kids get in the spirit and tend to go mad for Aussie flag transfers, whilst the older family members cook steak and enjoy a glass of wine”.
Spreading the conversation wider, Caroline and Bec have different recollections. Caroline told me that Australian day wasn't a big thing at hers.
“It was towards the end of the school holidays and we never really knew what it was celebrating, unlike ANZAC day, it just came and went."
Bec remembers a big breakfast that was put on at a local park by the council.
"There was face painting, thong throwing and the first 150 people got a free bacon and egg roll."
The youngest staff members (just out of High School, young) talks more about dressing up in green and gold wigs and temporary tattoos.
“We go round nanna’s and meet up with the cousins," says Miccy, “it’s the only time we meet up with them!”
Mike, our IT guy grew up as a surfer at Long Reef in NSW.
“All the adults would wear big hats”, he told me, “sombreros everywhere. There would be a big party and we’d usually end up on the beach."
Interestingly, Australia day seems to be super important to those people who didn't grow up here and perhaps appreciate more the lifestyle and freedoms we have. When I was chatting to the Aussies, some of the other “foreigners” chipped in with their own plans. How they will celebrate the culture of their adopted nation and how they’re building new traditions to pass on to their own families.
What do I think? I think Australia day has changed. It’s different but, in many ways, the same. Everyone still gets the day off work. Beers and snags in the park or by the beach with thong throwing competitions aren't so common now. Most public places have alcohol bans and prawns and steak have replaced snags and rissoles at some barbies. Wine (from a bottle, rather than a goon) and European or Mexican beers are equally likely to be found at family gatherings, with VB or New. But then there are the things that don’t change. Those beers still find their way into ice filled Eskeys, friends get together for back yard cricket and the kids bomb in the pool. Mums and dads still talk about the good old days, just like their parents did and everyone has a good time.
Thank you Jay-Jay...now get back to the warehouse!
*Australia's cities will be buzzing with events come Australia Day on the 26th, so what's happening near you?*
- Sydney -
The spirit of Australia Day will be celebrated over a long weekend of music, events and backyard barbeques. Sydney will be buzzing with thousands of people strolling around Hyde Park, picnicking by Sydney Harbour and listening to home grown tunes around The Rocks.
Sydney Festival: Ferrython
The Sydney Festival is well on the way, if you haven't seen the big rubber duck floating down the harbour then get down and see it! The annual Ferrython is back! So pack a picnic hamper, gather on the foreshore and barrack for your favourite ferry as they race from Circular Quay to Shark Island then back to the finishing post under the Harbour Bridge. How about cheering them on with some pom poms?
Darling Harbour Australia Day
Nowhere does Australia Day quite like Darling Harbour and this year you’re in for an incredible line up of world music, children’s entertainment and the official Australia Day Spectacular. With Caribbean Soul, Hermitage Green and Circle of Rhythm on the Palm Grove world stage and many more that will entertain you from 11.30am, and it's FREE.
- Melbourne -
The Australia Day program in Melbourne is designed to be as fun, family friendly and free as possible! There will be something for everyone to enjoy including the official flag raising ceremony and People's March, a luncheon, events in Kings Domain and Alexandra Gardens and activities at Docklands.
Australia Day Fireworks in Melbourne
Finish off Australia Day in Melbourne with a bang at the annual Australia Day Fireworks display.
To ensure a great view of the spectacle, best vantage points are at Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl or along the north/city side bank of the Yarra (not in Alexandra Gardens).
Fireworks display should begin at 9:15pm approx.
Of course not forgetting the great eye candy...I mean tennis that'll be on show at the Australian Open! See all the tennis greats such as Federer, Sharapove, Murray, the William sisters as they battle it out in one of Australia's biggest sports events of the year.
Big Day Out
Why not celebrate Australia Day with the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Killers, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and many many more! Tickets are still available on the Big Day Out website, so grab them quick!
- Perth -
Perth has all the great beaches and hot sun with this year promising to be a great place for Australia Day as the city will be lit up with loads of colour!
Australia Day Skyworks
At 8pm when the sky explodes with colour for the famous Skyworks fireworks display, the accompanying MIX94.5 soundtrack will pay special tribute to our unique people and culture and celebrate the spirit that unites us.
SmokeFree WA Survival Perth 2013
Survival Perth 2013 is one of the most exciting events on the NAIDOC Perth calendar. It is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and communities through music, song, dance and community stalls and activities. This year’s concert includes several ‘Zones’ including: The Healthy Living Zone, Elders Zone, Activity Zone and a Water Zone that will include Perth’s biggest transportable water slide and dunking pool.
- Brisbane -
Queenlands land of gorgeous beaches and beautiful people, join them this year as the city comes alive to come together to celebrate Australia Day with lunches in the party and the annual Australia Day Festival at South Bank.
Australia Day Lunch
The lunch is the perfect opportunity for the business community to come together and share in the Australian spirit.
Celebrate and enjoy a three course menu, live music by soul singer Mahalia Barnes and award-winning guitarist Michael Fix, and an address by guest speaker, music commentator Glenn A. Baker. Tickets are available now on the Gov website.
Australia Day Festival
The South Bank Parklands will once again explode with colour, sound and movement with the 2013 Australia Day Festival. With live music, a flag raising ceremony, a twenty-one gun salute, an aircraft flypass, children's activities and a fireworks display to top it all off, this free community event will be Brisbane's patriotic party par excellence, and all of Brisbane is invited.