What does it mean? I have absolutely no idea, but we chant it because we are passionate, we are sports fanatics and maybe a little bit crazy!
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of land size, but we only the 54th largest in terms of our population, with around 22 million people living here.
Similar to America we have a wide range of climates and landscapes. We have some spectacular coastlines, dry and dusty deserts, tropical rainforest's and plenty of bush.
Allow me to take a few moments to correct some myths about Australia.
1. We don't all act like 'Crocodile Dundee.'
2. We don't have kangaroo's as pets.
3. Koalas, while cute to look at are really, really stinky!
4. We don't ever - "Throw a shrimp on the barbie, mate."
5. We don't all eat Vegemite
6. We were colonised as a place for England to send criminals. That may explain a lot.
A few random bits of information
1. We have a national sport - Australian Rules Football. However it is really only massively popular in Victoria. Half of the national league is made up of teams from Victoria! New South Wales and Queensland prefer rugby (We don't care so much for rugby in Victoria).
2. We put tomato sauce on our meat pies. We say it's "un-Australian" when shops charge for sauce. Lots of them do. Un Australian!
3. Most Australians believe that we should have more public holidays. We don't care what it would be for, we just would like more of them!
Where I live in Victoria (the most southern, mainland state on the east coast of Australia) we have some incredible coastline with beautiful beaches as well as spectacular cliffs. We also some lots of bushland that is incredibly dry due to the fact that Victoria has been in a drought for most of the 21st century. Victoria is known as the state that experiences four seasons in one day, and it is completely true. Yesterday was 26 degrees C, sunny and beautiful. Today, 19, overcast and really windy. Any given day might start out sunny, by 10am be overcast, be sunny again by lunchtime, and then rain at 3:30pm, just in time for school to let out! We tend to not pay too much attention to what the forecasts say. Light layers is the dressing motto, that way we can take layers off when it gets warm and put them back on when it gets cold again, which it always does!
We are also a land that experiences some severe bushfires and flooding in the last 3 years. Images of those fires raging through Victorian towns (known as Black Saturday) and, at the complete other end of the spectrum, the water raging through Queensland towns less than two years later are some that many Australians will never forget.
We are a young nation, but we have a rich history, and while we may not be a particularly patriotic peoples, we tend to be extremely loyal and proud of our sporting achievements. We are particularly fond of beating New Zealand and England at any sport, and have a distinct dislike for the 'Barmy Army,' England's cricket cheersquad.
I have travelled to five of our eight states, but since some of travel happened prior to digital cameras I am going to introduce you to this man.
Ken Duncan. Christian guy, INCREDIBLE photographer. He spoke at our church a few years ago. A.ma.zing. I'm borrowing some of his images to show off this nation of the great south land!
|Gunyah Beach, SA|
|Turimetta Beach, NSW|
|Twelve Apostles, Vic|
|Sliding Rock, NT|
|Cape Tribulation, Qld|
|Kimberley Falls, WA|
|Ormiston Gorge, NT|
|Kata Tjuta, NT|
|Russell Falls, Tas|
|Wanggoolba Creek, Qld|
|Snowy Mountains Shelter, Vic|
P.S. I've been doing a series of posts on being Missionally Focused, click here if you're interested in reading along with those.