So you’re Australian?

WELCOME TO THE BOOK’D OUT AUSTRALIA DAY BOOK GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP – a chance to win so many wonderful stories written by Australian authors as we celebrate our day.

Happy Australia Day, whatever that means to you!

In a recent blog post at Ausromtoday I was asked what was the best thing about being an Aussie. My answer was that we live in the most spectacular country and enjoy unparalleled privilege and freedom. But it made me contemplate the diversity of our country and the tolerance we show to each other. Wave after wave of migration has added to the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia, starting with those English folk forced to sail a very long way to be here. (The NSW Migration Heritage Centre has a fascinating article on Australia’s migration history.)

Next time you’re out with friends consider how many of you were born in Australia. For me it’s not uncommon to realise there’s only one or two in the group who can claim Australia as a birth place. I was born in Canada (although Mum and Dad are Australian born themselves and I grew up in Australia), Capt G is English, and we have good friends born in the UK, Fiji, Thailand, USA, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland and Germany. We all consider ourselves to be Australian and it underscores the fact that Australia’s strength is in its diversity and in people’s willingness to accept others at face value, without the stereotypes.

Tragedies like the siege in Sydney could all so easily have turned into a hate filled war of recriminations. Instead it delivered something much more powerful and simple – the social media campaign ‘I’ll ride with you’. It’s easy to judge someone on their clothing yet I remember so many of the grandmothers of the kids I went to school with wearing scarves and being dressed head to toe in black. No one remarked on it and no one minded. It was their culture and that was that. And on that note, congratulations to Jamal Rifi on being named Australian of the Year by The Australian newspaper. He’s a tireless campaigner for cooperation and collaboration between his community and others.

So vive la difference, I say. Embrace the wonderful cuisines, the languages, the stories and the traditions of all the cultures that fill our wide brown land. We may see ourselves as sun bronzed Aussies comfortable on surfboards, horseback or scoring runs at cricket, but the reality is a whole lot more interesting than that!

I’d love to know where you’re from and if you identify most strongly with the country you live in, whether that’s Australia or not, or whether somewhere else on the planet is more important. Leave a comment here or email me via the contact form to go into the running for a signed copy of SAFE HARBOUR or an ebook if you live overseas. And check out the rest of the blogs on the BOOK’D OUT AUSTRALIA DAY BOOK GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP for more chances to win wonderful Australian stories!

(Entry for paperback is open to Australian residents only. The ebook voucher will be sent to the overseas winner. Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday 27th January and the winner will be announced here on Wednesday 28th January.)


64 thoughts on “So you’re Australian?

  1. And the winners are Anne-Marie Day, who’ll receive a signed copy of Safe Harbour and bn100 who’ll receive an e-book voucher!! I’ll send you both an email but feel free to contact me via the contact form if that email doesn’t reach you.

    Thanks again to Shelleyrae for organising the blog hop. I hope you’ve discovered many ‘new to you’ Australian authors!

    Happy reading 🙂

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, Gabrielle. That freedom is so special and we should never take it for granted.

    Love the work that you do!! And thanks for dropping by 🙂

  3. Hi Helene, a provocative post… many thanks.

    I am from country NSW and not one for the fast-paced city living and its ever frequent lane changing.

    However, I’m not the boots-and-all typical ‘country girl’ … while I like the RM William Boot, you’ll see me in a pair of Doc Martens and geek speaker spectacles. I work in a field that’s more commonly seen amongst the city crowd but I do enjoy the broad horizon of the rural area of where I live. I must, I admit, make frequent visit to the diversity of the city and when I’m done with it, I’m done!!!

    But as an Australian (and a woman also) I have the choice to come and go to ‘my places’ as I please with the citizenship freedom that Australia provides.

    I like that! Thanks for this post, Cheers!


  4. Jen, If you find a good think stick with I say!! Casino, Lismore, Yamba, Angourie are al places I spent time when I was growing up and I love them all!

    Happy Australia Day!

  5. Wendy, I totally understand why you puff your chest out in pride. WA is the best kept secret in Australia! Hope you had a fabulous Australia day and thanks for being part of the blog!

  6. Nat H, sounds like you’ve had an amazing upbringing in a stunning part of Australia. And now you get to call the high country home! You’re very lucky indeed.

    I hope you celebrated Australia day in fine style and thanks for dropping by 🙂

  7. Just don’t seem to be able to drag myself away from northern nsw – even after travelling around the country I’m back here again!! thanks for the awesome giveaway

  8. I am from Western Australia born and bred and I puff my chest out with pride at being so when ever I’m on holiday be it in Australia or another part of the world. I think we know deep down how fortunate we are to have been born in the lucky country. So many wonderful places to see in the world but there is definitely no place like home.
    Happy Australia Day

  9. I live in Victoria, I was brought up in the beautiful Yarra Valley, amongst the wineries, cafes and Healesville Sanctuary. Now living in Country Victoria near the high Country and the mountains where the man from the snowy river called home… Both places make me feel very humbled and proud.

  10. Fai, my hat’s off to you! I have nothing but admiration for the RFS and Burning Lies was a tribute to their courage and dedication.

    Thanks for dropping by and hope you’ve had a fabulous Australia Day.

  11. I was born in Sydney – at the famous Crown Street Women’s Hospital – and I’ve lived in suburban Sydney all my life. I love the beaches with their golden sands and sparking water. I love the river where I swim from early September till late May or even early June. I love the birds, especially the parrots such as Rainbow Lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs and King Parrots that all live in the nearby park.

  12. Born in Goulburn Nsw lived in lived Sydney a couple of times ,in the blue mountains for a while and now back near Goulburn and I love the rural the best although I belong to the RFS and fight fires I see this “wide brown land” each day and love it more and more

  13. Apollo Bay is stunning, Bec! Hope to visit there again and have more time to explore. It’s a beautiful part of Victoria.

    You’re so right – when you consider all the things we take fore granted in our lifestyles you realise just how easy it is to live in Australia.

    Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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