Sunday, 25 January 2009

And so the Australian journey continues on...

For Ruth

Humans are strange creatures. We often like to hide our history, bury our mistakes, pretend we are right and put on a happy face that often masks reality. The more honest we are about the journey we have taken and the lessons learnt, the freer we are, always. We don’t have to cover our tracks, fudge the truth, fear the past or rewrite history. We can move forward. With a clear conscience and a willingness to learn from mistakes and make amends where we need.

Australia has always been described as being a young country, raw, fresh, and unblemished. The truth is, our country is old. And when I say old, I am talking ancient.

When you cross Australia from end to end you will travel through a landscape that is 120 million years old. You will see some of the oldest flora and fauna in the world. Deserts in the interior, hills and mountains, tropical rainforests, densely-populated coastal strips with long beaches and coral reefs off the shoreline.

While the English only colonised Australia 220 years ago, our Indigenous Australians, who have the oldest continuing culture in the world, have lived here for up to 65,000 years. Like every other country which has been colonised or invaded, indigenous people often end up lying on the fringes of society and are sometimes deprived of their cultural rights due to dispossession and displacement from their land.

It is a part of our history that didn’t feature very strongly in my school education. My 'real' outback education came some years ago when I visited the top of Australia with an Aboriginal friend. The memories of the remoteness, the red earth and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in a twilight zone between two cultures will stay with me forever. The issues are complex and not easily solved but the stories, the friendships and the empathy I experienced will forever remain.

As we know, when you have suffered great loss or when you have been abused, trodden on, or stolen from, there is an enormous need to have your story validated. To be heard. Listened to. For the truth to be told and sympathy and understanding to be given. When you cannot get closure or justice, the fight continues. For a cause that sometimes gets lost over time.

Often, all someone is looking for is an acknowledgement that yes, they were wronged, yes, they suffered, yes, mistakes were made, yes, there is genuine sorrow for making those mistakes and yes, amends will be made.

Nearly 12 months ago, our new Prime Minister publicly apologised to our Indigenous Australians for the treatment they had received since 1788. Aborigines were shot like wild animals, half the populaton was destroyed by diseases bought in by settlers, they had their lands taken over by pastoralists, they had their children ripped away from them because governments felt that non indigenous Australians would give them better lives and they didn’t even have full voting rights until the 1960s.

I hope all fellow Australians use this Australia Day to celebrate our long history and to reflect on the important part Indigenous Australians have and continue to play in developing our rich and vibrant culture. Happy Australia Day!

and Happy Republic Day India! and Happy Burns Days, Scotland! and Happy Chinese New Year!

Lilly's Extras - for those readers who sent in specific questions over the last week.
As this is the last post of my Australia series, here are replies to questions readers sent to me. Thanks.

video

  • Australians are now the second-longest-living people on earth, (although our indigenous population continues to die at least 17 years earlier). Australia’s life expectancy is only bettered by the Japanese.

  • Modern Australian cuisines have been heavily influenced by its Asian and South-East Asian neighbours and from Europe. Australia's wide variety of seafood is also popular and BBQs are common.
  • Four of Australia's cities are in the top ten most livable cities in the world index -Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Vancouver, Canada seems to top the quality of living list.

  • We do not tip here (other than perhaps in restaurants where service was good).

  • The cost of living in Australia is considerably lower than in Europe, the US, Japan and especially the UK.

  • We use decimal currency. We only have 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1 and $2 coins. Our paper currency includes $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes/bills. Each bill is a different colour.

  • We use metric weights and measures (as does every other country besides the US, Libya and Burma). When we talk about distances by road we talk in kilometres, not miles. When we fill up at the petrol/gas station we pay by the litre, not the gallon. We are measured in centimetres or metres, not feet and inches. And we weigh ourselves in kilograms, not pounds and our scales are always out (just like everywhere else!).

  • We use the Celsius scale, not Fahrenheit. When it's a really hot day it might be 38 degrees - which is about the same as the Fahrenheit "century".

  • We use the English spelling system so we spell words differently from Americans.

  • Australian law now bans private ownership of all semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns.



Top Image: Brandon Walters, 11, was hand-picked by director Baz Luhrmann to play a young Aboriginal horseman in the film Australia


100 comments:

  1. Our country is beautiful and great to live in. Too bad it's just so far away from all other countries (except maybe New Zealand). You need a lot of money to go overseas :(
    Happy Australia Day everyone!

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  2. Lilly, What a wonderful set of articles you did for Australia Day ! I especially enjoyed reading this one, as I learned so many new things about Australia. And unlike your usual articles, where there are many dollops of humour everywhere, this was simply smothered by a sense of honest history....

    You know, this apology of the PM to the original inhabitants of Australia, was a very very Gandhian thing to do .....not everyone has the courage and the guts. Bravo.

    P. S. the limerick blog has something to say on the 26th too :-)

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  3. I was so overcome with your written post, I forgot the audio thing with the various sceneries.

    That was so smart. Very very clever. It was simply fantastic actually listening to you.

    Maybe you can tell us in a later blog how to go about doing this, recording your voice and putting it there. and all that.....

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  4. Lilly, beautiful pictures. The lil girl, look at the light in that child eyes. Beautiful. OH, MY and you Lovely Lilly, what a vision you are just Beautiful and what a lovely voice and (accent) Thankyou for sharing yourself and your country with us, just priceless.

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  5. Yeeeaahh for metric!!
    You live in a beautiful country and I learned a lot.
    Thanks!

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  6. if i liked to fly and my children would come with, we would move here. Your history and facts about your country are very interesting. I used to love America, I dont anymore. I dont like the "hidden" message our government has been doing for years and years...the corruption, greed, selfishness, and silent control over the people's minds, daily lives..income etc..have really gotten to me.

    I realize each place has its history--its bad time..as did yours..and I know things arent perfect anywhere.

    Your beauty, climate, and a few other things about your culture make it seem to be a pretty neat place to live.

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  7. Fascinating stuff. I know so little about your country so this has been fun. It's a country I would love to visit some day. Thanks for introducing us to it!

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  8. Oh and I forgot, I loved hearing your voice and your accent. I made you more "real"!! Thanks for that!

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  9. Happy Australia Day, and it was nice to hear your voice on your audio... It sounds like the indigenous people were treated like the indigenous people of Canada, as their land was taken away. It may be the way of life and survival.

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  10. Lilly,

    We loved listening to you this morning! That was so fun. Thank you for another amazing post. You and Braja teach me more about the world than I ever learned in formal school. You are far more entertaining than my teacher were.

    I am putting Australia down on my list of places to visit.

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  11. Oh, I so wish we didn't "have" to tip! I, personally, think that it is up to employers to pay their staff, no us. We are buying the product! Argh!

    I like the fact that I can move there and enjoy life for probably around the same as it costs to live here. Good to know.

    I'm going to start working on that.

    We have natives here too that were abused horribly when the "civilized" came and took over this land. I think that the government tried to make amends, but, unfortunately, it has backfired. They actually have messed them up even more. But that, I suppose, could be a post for another day.

    Thanks for the Aussie series! I loved it! And have a wonderful Australia Day! Have a glass of wine for me, would you?

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  12. Lilly, I have so loved learning more about your country! This has been a marvelous, touching, informative group of posts and I'm so glad you did. It is a great history lesson that we can all learn from. The apology was a great thing, too bad we couldn't have done that to our own Black community, but at least we have made one our President and that in itself is a miracle! And how did you do the audio part?? Terrific!

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  13. Loved seeing the photo of the precious child who starred in "Australia" ... he is amazing. I've loved reading more about your land ..........

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  14. I love the sound of your voice. Your accent is pretty mild I would say, but adds a melodic hint to your words. You should definitely do some video blogging, but don't expect me to, LOL.

    Those are some interesting things about Australia. I didn't know they banned private ownership of so many weapons, I suspect that will be happening sooner or later over here, hopefully later.

    I can imagine the Indigenous Australians suffered greatly. Very much like many of our American Indians who were forced from their lands and placed on reservations. I find it interesting, that many Conquering peoples end up fear those who were defeated. There were many atrocities over here also, much like your country. These cultures survive though, and they will eventually be embraced at some point.

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  15. that child is beautiful...
    what you did to the aboriginals we did to the indians..and they still don't get what they truly have coming to them..like land and respect..you can see how much you love your country...

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  16. Happy Australia Day! Man, I would LOVE to visit someday. I love Australia. I have some cousins that live near Perth. Your post was very interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

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  17. It is sad but this thing has happened in almost every country when it was so called "discovered". Very sad it is.

    Thanks for the education once again.

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  18. Lovely post Lilly. What about the Scots? We have Burns night on Sunday:)

    I love Australia Day. Just back from a long road trip seeing this great country. Hope your animal singeing day is good.

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  19. I think I'll move to Oz - I never tip either! Happy Australia Day Lilly.

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  20. I'm happy to have stumbled upon your blog here. I've done a bit of online gaming with some Australian guys, always a good bunch with a fair attitude.

    Thanks for your Australia Day posts.

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  21. Oh LILLY!!!!!!!
    I LOVED hearing you talking.
    I am blown away.

    You are amazing. It made my whole week. You sound so....so Australian. LOL!! I've not heard an Aussie accent for some time now and it was MUSIC to my hears. I can still hear your voice in my head. You are a natural speaker and very witty and wise.

    I also have enjoyed the Aussie series. I read in one of the posts about Australians being greedy. It's funny because I thought just the opposite when I was there. I LOVE the Australian people. I found them so generous of spirit and everything. If a tourist or traveler is kind and relaxed and isn't caught up in their own ego trying to boast or impress the Aussies with all their degrees (which is very American) but are just straight forward and love a sense of camaraderie and warm humor...the Aussie immediately love you. They are so EASY going. I think I was born in the wrong country. I love their laid back, wacky, warm ways and down to earthiness. I love how they aren't easily impressed (like Americans can be). And I also love not only their accent but the WAY they talk with all the strine and plays on words. So colorful.

    I've traveled quite a bit in my life, and I still have to say that Australia is THE MOST fascinating place I've ever been.

    Oh Lilly this was very exciting to hear you and read this. Thank you from my heart. Love, Robin

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  22. @ pcmemoirs - true it would be better if we lived closer to other countries then again, it has its benefits too. all countries are wonderful in their own way but there is no place like home no matter where we live.

    @ ugich konitari - thanks my dear and Happy Independence Day to you. I will email you how I got the audio and I will come and check out your Limerick!

    @ Darsden - thanks that is actually a gorgeous little aboriginal boy - he is going to be a fine actor I think. Hope you understood the accent.

    @ Betty - thanks and hope Flat Stanley is having a fine old time!!

    @ Dawnie - I have every confidence that your change of government will do wonders for your spirit. We had someone similar to George Bush for 8 years too and we have had a change of government in the last 8 years. Things are never perfect but we have a wonderful female Deputy Prime Minister as well and I feel good about our leaders. I dont think I have ever felt as confident. Truly in a year you will feel different!

    @ Christine - thanks and of course Australia and Canada are very similar and your standard of living is very high I believe.

    @ Nikkicrumpet - well I hope you do get to visit one day when the wrold settles down a bit form its economic woes. We are friendly, he he!

    @ Sandi - when you hit the big time on TV you will have to come to Australia to record a show! Wouldnt that be fun! Jsut forget about the 14 or 15 hour plane flight with 14 kids....

    @ Rhonda - You do know Vancouver is the most desirable place to live in terms of quality of living right? Well Canadians and Australians are really similar. I hope you get to come here one day!

    @ Helen - Brandon is so adorable and has a special quality - they found him on a community in Western Australia - how different his life is going to be now as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman have given his family money to see he gets an education etc.

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  23. Lovely to hear you, however briefly. Love your accent. As to your points that are so well made, I think I understand and couldn't agree more.

    I think it's often fear that prevents us all moving forward. Youa re so right that all MOST people want is admission, acceptance and closure, along with some realistic hope that things will change for the better.

    One example of this is when medical mistakes are made in the NHS in the UK. The fear of litigation prevents both the individual and the hospital concrened from admitting fault and the relatives of somone who has died as a result are often left knowing that there is more and that they don't know the truth - awful.

    Similarly, as I understand it, there was a remarkable effort made in South Africa to allow the past perpetrators of crimes against Africans to be freed from the fear of reprisal and prosecution if they admitted fully, publicly and contritely to their sins. On the whole I think it worked and produced a whole lot of closure for a lot of people.

    Neither victims not perpetrators can change the past, but they can admit to it, acknowledge it and then, just maybe, all move on to a more hopeful future.

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  24. Lilly you are such a wonderful ambassador for our fabulous country.
    I have just posted this post on my blog.
    I'm off to Manly to join in the festivities and then maybe Palm Beach if someone feels like the drive.....go glad the 40 degree days are over for a while.
    Hugs
    Peggy

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  25. Back again!
    Just viewed the Adam Hills video...I'll be smiling all day now. I loved the Yorkshire accent he used for Captain Cook.
    My ex-husband came from Yorkshire.
    Have a great day my friend.
    Peggy

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  26. This was just the coolest series of blogs. Thank you so much for taking the time and the effort to share a little of your country's culture and history with the rest of us. And -- I loved the little video at the end. It adds a whole new dimension to know what your voice sounds like.

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  27. Happy Australia Day! You know, this is really bizarre, but I was looking at your picture the other day, wondering if you had an Australian accent. Because of course, on the blogs everyone sounds the same. So to click on your blog and hear your voice was really amazing. I love the Australian accent. It's so unique.

    My brother has been to Australia several times, and he loves it there. He says it's like no other place on earth.

    You know, our Parliament apologized to the First Nations people in Canada too, for doing exactly to them what was done to the Aboriginals in Australia. Our First Nations had such a beautiful heritage, and wonderful artists. I wonder why it has taken us so long to recognize these things, and in the meantime, they have lost so much of their heritage. So sad!

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  28. Good evening, Lilly...your pictures are beautiful and the articles were amazing that you put together. You really are an amazing blogger. I love the different things that I learn via your blog. Thank you!

    *hugs*

    PS...you disappeared off of my "bloggers following me" list...um...did I do something? =/

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  29. Okay that was too cool to get a chance to hear you!! I loved it xoxo
    We have the same things with our currency it is colourfull, we spell using british/french spellings just as you do. We use he metric system here and like you there we have gun laws, I am sure my ex-husband thanks for lord for that every time he has to talk to me and pushes my buttons! LoL
    thanks for sharing

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  30. @ Eric, Ohhh I cannot stand to hear my accent and you really notice it of course when you are overseas and you stand out, particularly when I lived in Scotland!! Oh come on be brave!!!

    @ yellowdog, yes the Europeans settled in lots of countries an dthe indigenous people were effectivley destroyed. Hard to contemplate really. Then again it is still happening today all voer the world!!! I would love to know more about Indian culture too!

    @ Laura, well I hope you get to visit very soon too! Thanks for dropping by!!

    @ Wheresmyangels - yes you are so right and its a tough one I guess. The French and Dutch stopped by our country then the English decided to settle here and bring their convicts with them. Amazing histories we all have really.

    @ Colin - ok well you should become a citizen - you fit in so well with your wonderful sense of humor and sense of adventure. Boy have you lived in lots of places too!

    @ Mike - you might be a little disappointed about the quality fo our soccer.football though. And you would have to give up a few of your delicassies but as you know we have lots of Scottish people here.

    @ Maelstrom - aw thanks for dropping by - I don't know much about online gambling. I am not sure I need any other vices other than blogging.

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  31. Ohhhh I got excited to hear your accent and have been practising my G'day Mate now. That was interestng about the Aborigines. I must admit the indigenous people across the world need more than sympathy it is true. I have really enjoyed these posts and thanks for letting me hear your Aussie accent!!

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  32. I really enjoyed hearing more about Australia. Thank you. I also enjoyed hearing your accent and think it would great if you try video bloggin.I am too shy to do that I think.Happy Australia Day all you great Aussies.

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  33. Love the vlog Lilly! And a great post too but I couldn't read the first part because of the Adam Hills vid on your site...is that just me?

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  34. Well, it's not really the gambling I'm into. More First Person Shooters but then that may not mean much to you either. But back to your post. A lot of us in the U.S. find Australia fascinating. If only you weren't so far away.

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  35. @ Robin ha ha, yes our shrill whiney accents. Oh gosh I personally do not like listening to myself. You can tell I was born in the country and Western capital of Oz can you?

    @ CJW666 - aww, I love the way you think. You are smart and put it in such a succinct way. You are right about the NHS system - same with medical systems all over the world.

    @ Peggy - ha ha Adam is kin dof funny although I had to take him off my blog because people with Firefox browsers cant read my blog for some reason! Thanks fo rthe mention on your blog!! I am all 'Australiaed' out and am looking forward to February, the month of love!

    @ Jeanne - mmm a new dimension, well we cant hide our accetns can we! Thanks for your comment. Loved your last post too!!!

    @ Jo - Perhaps we, Australia and Canada, are very similar. Happened everwhere and it makes me think of several places today like Indonesia and Palestinian too.

    @ Paris, thanks my dear and yep I am still following you!

    @ Mind of a Mom - that was funny, you are hilarious and I hope the ex ran and never looked behind him then lol!!

    @ Stefan - well given you asked to hear it there it was, a bit off the cuff but anyway....

    @ Banoffi - I think I might try video blogging but I will have to improve my performance first I am not so natural at these things. I once was interviewed for TV they spend hours doing retapes. I guess I was better to do it live.

    @ Louisa - Happy Australia Day - yes I took off the video thanks as I realised that may be there was an issue with Firefox. Thanks for that!

    @ Maelstrom - yes, its true it's a long way away but hey we go visit you guys. Not to worry if you have any questions I am happy to find the answers for you! No, I never knew what that game was either...lol1



    @

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  36. Happy Australia Day to you and Australia. Lilly, you are an absolutely beautiful person. I loved hearing your accent and those grasshoppers are the biggest I ever saw. Thanks for all the wonderful posts about Australia.

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  37. I really enjoted reading this post Lilly. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the past, when indeed it is the foundation we stand on.
    Your accent is marvelous!!! I suppose I have a Minnesotan accent, it's just "normal" to me, so I don't hear it.

    Happy week from Speedy!

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  38. Gosh, Lilly! You make me want to move to Australia! You have gun laws, long life, no tipping!
    And wow! You are so pretty...beautiful actually. I'd like to hear your voice but I can't turn it on right now because my husband is asleep next to me.

    It's very sad to read about the aboriginal tribes. The same sort of thing happened to the Hawaiian people and I still don't think people really know about all the wrongs that were done to them. America especially does not want to put too much emphasis on how the monarchy was overthrown and taken over by American businessmen. It's sad.

    This was such an excellent post, Lilly. I loved learning about Australia. It makes me want to go back and see more.

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  39. Of course your voice is melodic to go along with your beautiful face! Thanks for all the info on Australia. Now I want to visit more than ever!! We use metric in Canada as well, but for some reason most of us are stuck on feet/inches and lbs for height and weight (myself included although I know both).
    I'm so intrigued by the history of people. I can't even begin to imagine how they felt...

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  40. Also, Christine is right...the treatment of the indigenous sounds similar to Canadian history.

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  41. Indigenous people....I meant to include the word people! My grandmother is Mi'kmaq (Micmac). You can see it in my mother and sisters, but not so much in me.

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  42. @ Leslie - thanks, of course you have been doing videos for a while.

    @ Judy, thanks for your comment and I think you would like it here too just as we love visiting America also.

    @ Speedcat - yeah its amazing though when you do somewhere new and tehn you relaly hear your accent for the first time. Bit strange I have to say!

    @ Kay - yes the no tipping thing is good for customers and workers. Wehn you got in to an eating place say you kno whow much you will pay form the price on the menu (inclusive of tax too). I will have to read up more about Hawaii - people should know these things that is horrific.

    @ Simplicity - Hello there stranger. I have to find out more about Canada's history too. We get a bit stuck on feet and inches too I guess, well some of us do. I will come by and check your blog.

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  43. Happy white and black Australia day Lilly. Thank you so much for mentioning the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the fact that Australia is a ancient country with a very rich culture.

    We're having an Australia day dinner of an international flavour - a true recognition of multi cultural Australia. Wattle seed pasta is on the menu because it is slightly easier for me to serve than witchety grubs.

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  44. Happy Australia Day, Lilly! I've really enjoyed your Australia series of blog posts. It's on my list of places to see some day.

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  45. I hope you had a happy Australia Day, Lilly.

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  46. What do you think about Mick Dodson's suggestions that the date for Australia Day should be changed?

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  47. @ Megan - wattle seed pasta - yum..

    @ Joanie - thanks for your wishes.

    @ Nina - thank you!

    @ Magee - oh I kind of agree but I thnk any date chosen may be troublesome. Its not the date so much we just need to change the focus.

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  48. Hi Lilly,
    Thanks for sharing some of your history with us. Reading your Part 1 and Part 2 posts on The Australian Journe, I came to the conclusion that your history parallels mucn of the U.S. in that the first foreign settlers here came from England also. Your aborigines situations parallels our Native Americans. However, our English forefathers were the rebellious kinds who wanted to be completely free of the British Empire. They were so rebellious; they even have to do everything opposite of the British; such as, driving on the right side of the road (granted that came much later), kilometers to miles, and so on. We're the stubborn mules, I suppose. Hee, hee.

    Now I have a question for you. Since many a part of Australia's interior is mostly desert, does this mean those parts are completely uninhabited? Also, are there highways that go through those parts in order to go from east to west or north to south?

    Your country is definitely huge. Not including Hawaii and Alaska, it's approximately 41 to 42 hours drive from coast to coast here in the U.S. This is non-stop.

    Your writings make me want to come there to visit now. You did a marvelous job in educating us about your beautiful country. I haven't yet seen the movie Australia. Hopefully soon.

    Tasha

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  49. I forgot one thing. I wish you a happy Australia Day!

    Enjoy your time with family and friends. I'm sure there'll be plenty of get-togethers, BBQs, and picnics. My mouth is already watering, thinking about the food. Hee, hee.

    Tasha

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  50. G'day LILLY
    Your latest post lived up to my expectations - so that says heaps. Great stuff.

    Eric - Lilly's accent is pretty typical these days - for instance the characters in my story 'Paternity' are larger than life and use more Oz-isms than is normal these days. We're not as 'broad' as we used to be! Good to hear your voice Lilly - and do you agree with me about the above?

    Lilly - Exciting news that the Aboriginal academic and lawyer Mick Dodson has been named Australian of the Year and another Aboriginal Faith Bandler received the highest of honours in this year's list. Whacko - we might be coming of age!

    Fancy having computer troubles on our national day - that's my lot. Anyway I'm here now on a borrowed machine. I hope to post my Oz Day stuff tomorrow with any luck.

    PS The optimum post depends on the quality. So you can let her rip!
    Cheers and hugs
    June (in Oz)

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  51. @ Tashabud - yes it is similar but yours was settled by christians wasnt it and ours was settled to use as a penal colony. Yes we have roads though these parts but you dont want to break down on them if you can help it. You have to be very careful when travelling that you can survive out there if need be. Thanks Tasha, what did you think about my accent?

    Gday June - oh no your computer broke down - well hope that meant you could have a good day anyway. Mmm, yes I came from the country and I think the accents were more broad its true. Mine is cringeworthy enough though. Yes, its interesting about Dodson and I think he is going to be very vocal. Not sure I agree changing the date but I think if they remove the focus of it away from the first fleet perhaps it would be better. There will never be a date that can be agreed to either.

    Look forward to your post tomorrow June!

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  52. Oh, Lilly,
    I'm so sorry about missing your video. I saw your picture and thought thought it just a photo of you.

    I love your Aussie accent, but for some reason, I never guessed you sounding like that. I have this thought of you, sounding less of an Aussie and sounding more as British. I don't know why I thought that, but I did.

    Anyway, I couldn't do what you've just done. I'd be a mumbling fool in front of a camera. I'd sing before I'd talk. Hee, hee.

    Hope you'll do more of this audio thing, so we can hear more of your beautiful Aussie accent.

    Tasha

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  53. Hi Lilly,
    When you have a chance, visit my latest post and listen to some coowboys on Utube with their different accents. The video was not there when you visited it before. I thought you might like to watch and listen.

    Oh, another thing, if I understand the U.S. history, the first British settlers here were the prisoners from England, so, yes they're the unwanted citizens.

    Happy Australia Day,
    Tasha

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  54. I loved that you kicked that old thing out, "Young country." We are not.

    And hey, Happy Australia Day! Its also India's national day today. Funny, that...

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  55. Thank you for the infve popst again, Lilly ! I'm glad to read it, and learn what you've shared !

    And you are totally right about what people want when they have been hurt...

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  56. Lilly, Thank you for this post. It was very interesting and incredibly informative.

    I've always wanted to travel to Australia, but after that spider pic- now I'm unsure. J/k.

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  57. Happy Australia Day, Lillyness! Oh, I so enjoy my history lessons with you! I do appreciate your telling it like it is. Most of us should not try to hide our little heads in the sand and acknowledge how life can treat some people and try to be part of a solution. Now, I don't know how to solve everything, but I think if I could get some Dr. Peppers over there to you, that would surely help! lol
    OH, how I loved hearing you speak. I love your accent. Now, being from Texas, you know I don't have one! lol
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  58. WOW! That was so cool! I love the Texas story about those grasshoppers!

    You are so cute!
    ;)
    -Andrea
    crazyjugs

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  59. This was so great to read! I am glad that you posted. One of these days I will come to your country. It has always been a dream of mine. :)

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  60. Thanks so much for the beautiful post. I loved your view of life. The viedo was excellent. I love an Australian accent. You do have some huge grasshoppers over there.

    "Happy Australian Day"

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  61. Thanks for the tour of the past and present of your country. Enjoyed every bit of the post. Happy Australia Day!

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  62. That's so neat! I learned so much!

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  63. OMG, you have my favorite little guy on your blog! I think he is The Cutest Boy In The World. He was so cute in that movie I just wanted to squeeze him!

    And date his father. LOL

    I've decided I'm coming to visit. When do you want me? And can I stay for years?

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  64. Oh, and I love love love hearing your voice! Now every single post I read of yours will be read with that accent! LOL

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  65. I continue to enjoy your informative posts on your lovely country/continent. Happy belated Australia day!

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  66. @ Tasha, oh no well the British have so many different accents, ours is a bit more common he he! Ah well we cant do much about the way we speak can we? OK will come back and have a listen!

    @ Braja - Happy National Day to you and its Chinese New Year and Scottish Burns and god knows what else is happening out there!

    @ LovingAnnie - yes many who have suffered at the hands of anyone else will get it loud and clear.

    @ Summer - you have three lively boys one big ol spider is nothing!

    @ Shelia - yes, send some of that medicinal drink right on over!

    @ AC- thanks for dropping by and yes we have mighty big grasshoppers called kangaroos here.

    @ Mandy - well I hope you get a chance to visit some day too!

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  67. thanks for removing the video, I am so glad I got to read the first half of this post. beautifully put. well done!

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  68. @ Louisa - thanks for giving me the heads up that it was causing problems. Even though he is so funny!

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  69. This place is starting to sound more and more like Heaven. Its like i should get off my butt and move there. Seems so much better there then here.

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  70. I always wanted to visit Australia.

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  71. Lilly, I was not in the least bit surprised when I got through reading (and listening to) your post to see that you already had 70 comments. This was such a wonderful post. I really enjoyed learning more about Australia, it's original inhabitants, and some of Australia's culture.

    I think it was a wonderful idea for you to do this series on your country for all your readers, culminating with the arrival of Australia Day! Very smart, indeed.

    I loved listening to you on audio, I think that is such a great tool to let your readers get to know you just that little bit more. I think you sounded pretty much as I expected, although I might have thought you wouldn't have quite as strong an accent. I don't know why, possibly because I know you spent time in the U.S., England and Scotland. Silly, I guess, because it usually takes many years for one to start to lose a bit of their accent while living abroad. Anyway, you sounded terrific, and I hope you do decide to video blog once in a while. I think that would be a great idea for more of us to do. Maybe you will start a trend.

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  72. Oh, I loved the Texas story. Sounds about right, too, as far as the Texan bragging about his state. Pretty common thing, for sure. Don't ask a Texan how big his ranch is, either, because he'll answer you in how many days it takes to drive it. LOL

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  73. @ Terri, yep they are very big grashoppers.

    @ Sucahrita - thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

    @ The Blonde Duck - thanks, glad you liked it.

    @ Julie - well of course you are welcome here an old time. Accents -how hilarious but you know I just thought I would oblige Stefan and show him how strange an accent we have.

    @ Jordann - nowhere is heaven but home I think. Every country has good and bad bits. Sometimes it's good to travel because it makes you appeciate what you have at home. I do like it here but then again I like lots of places all over the world too.

    @ Neil - you must come for a trip on eday if you can.

    @ Matt - lol - thought everyone from Texas would enjoy the fact we have way bigger grasshoppers. Stefan asked to hear my accent so I thought why not. Even I was surprised to hear such a strong accent but being back home again a while you pick it up again. You do lose it because my sister has been in the UK for nearly 9 years now and hers is a mix between a British and Aussie accent. Thanks for your support as always Matt, and now the challenge is out for other bloggers to let me hear their accents. Hey, have you ever thought of doing a bloggers conference by Skype?

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  74. Great post Lilly! Happy Australia Day to you. Cheers!

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  75. @ Caroline, thanks, it must be late there for you!

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  76. Really, just the US, Libya and Burma?

    Well, at least we're (Americans) in good company.

    Stubborn lot!

    Wonderful post - thanks for the education.

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  77. Call me a taxi... I just had
    Australia 101!

    Fantastic post... Lilly, and that child... is... gorgeous!

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  78. @ Eudea - yes its interesting about the metric isnt it?

    @ Saundra - ok I will send the taxi over for you now!

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  79. Lilly. Thanks for this instalment. I’m so looking forward to exploring and experiencing Australia’s ‘ancient landscape and indigenous civilisation’. I got a taste for it when I watched AUSTRLIA on big screen a few weeks back. Breathtakingly beautiful (the land and people)!

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  80. When is your next post coming Lilly...it's due right now. Do we get to find out who won the secret prize?

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  81. am liking what i read - glad i stumbled by - i will be back (why is it no-one can say that with thinking of a metal machine?)

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  82. This is a great post, Lilly! The story of your Aborigines is similar to that of our Native Americans. And you are so right about when anyone has endured pain, many times they just need acknowledgment that they were wronged. Sometimes, we all just need to hear a sincere, "I'm sorry."

    I've tried to learn to apologize more. Oh, not for silly little things - running around saying I'm sorry for everything. But rather, I'm learning to recognize when I've been wrong, swallow my pride, and say, "I'm sorry."

    It's amazing how much healing power are contained in those words.

    Anyway, thanks for a very educational post!

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  83. I love all this information. I'm glad I found your blog.

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  84. What a insightful post and history lesson. I am a native american living in the United States and I can certain relate about cultures being pushed out to edges.
    Well done.

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  85. Postscript: I am actually not illiterate, although you probably can't tell from my previous comment. Thanks for visiting. I really like your blog and you're pretty funny.

    beaux

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  86. @ CathM - yes the landscape is beautiful you will have lots of fun exploring. The cities are the same as most cities.

    @ Sarah, hopefully today I will be posting the winner.

    @ paulwchambers - yes metal machine, funny!

    @ Renae - thanks for your comment!

    @ Teri - thanks and I am glad you found it too and find something you enjoy reading.

    @ Something Happened somewhere to u - thank you - your comment means a lot. You understand better than most. Have visited your blog and am now a follower. Very interesting.

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  87. Thank you, Lilly, for sharing the rich culture of your home. My heart followed the path of Australian history and for the Indigenous Australians through your words. Around the world, we are connected by one thing ~ humanity. If we can find it in a kinder manner, then we can acquire peace. History is the starting point... beautiful post!

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  88. G'day again Lilly - I've made it with my post. Let's know what you think of my thoughts on January 26.
    Cheers
    June in Oz

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  89. @ Aleta - That was so well put - you have a beautiful way with words. It's hardly surprising you are a published poet!

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  90. Hi Lilly...hope your doing good. Thinking of you. :)

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  91. I tagged you on my blog, on the post Butteflies are free!

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  92. It is so great to hear your voice. I feel like I know you even better! :) That would be so great to see you add videos as well.

    Great info on your Country.. I would have such a hard time with the tipping, we are tipping all over the place here, and I am learning the metric system as well, I think America needs to push that more as yes only three places left using it.

    Also A really good friend of mine got to live over in Sydney for a bit, so I have some special souvenirs from there. Cannot wait to make it there someday!!

    xo

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  93. I've always wanted to go to Australia. Now I really need to go.

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  94. Hi Lilly,
    Please forgive me. I stand corrected. You're very right when you said that the first English settlers in America were not through Penal colonization. However, they were still the outcast citizens of England.

    Hey, you know more about our history than I do. This goes to show that I should educate myself more on the history of my adopted country. Hee, hee.

    Tasha

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  95. @ Paris - thanks I will be over to visit soon!

    @ Joanie - will be over to visit today!

    @ Leigh - thanks for your comment - mmm it would take a while to get used to no tipping but the price you pay is inclusive of taxes and tips.

    @ Cleo - well there are plenty of Irish people here too!

    @ Tashabud - no, I just remember reading it - my history is not that good really. Must look into it actually - you are sweet for coming back to say that - you are a lovely woman you know that? But you are very smart!

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  96. Another brilliant post. Thank you so much for the history lesson – oh, and I love that Australian accent!
    No, no - they are never too long! I read every word of it!

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  97. @ Fida - thanks and we missed you too.

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  98. This is a good blog. Keep up all the work. I too love blogging and expressing my opinions. Thanks

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  99. Hi Lilly, Great to hear your voice, the story of the Ozzie and the American was kind of familiar 'cos we here in the land of the tartan have a version of it as well...  It consists of the conversation taking place between a Scot and the American ... with much the same ending !  The oldies are the best hehe..  As usual I fair enjoyed my visit...   Cheers for the Mo  Kate xx.

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Thanks for your comments.