Happy Australia Day

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Australian Flag SydneyAhhh Australia Day. A time that conjures up images of barbecues  picnics, fireworks, more Australian flag paraphernalia than one thought possible and of course, that all important public holiday after which, the end of the holiday period really hits us and we are back in to the full swing of our working week, looking anxiously forward to the next public holiday, Easter.

Whilst many of us will be avoiding sunstroke on Australia Day and ensuring we get in to the spirit with a proper Aussie BBQ surrounded by good friends, food and beverages, there will be members of our community accepting their citizenship and proudly calling themselves a ‘new’ Australian.

Some of our new citizens may have been established in Australia for a long time, with good social and family networks. Others may be brand new to our sun burnt country and they will be focused on establishing a support network, friendship groups, securing  employment and setting themselves up with bank accounts, schools for their children, entering the property market as an owner or tenant and navigating the Roads & Traffic Authority to be issued with a driver’s licence. It is a big challenge, yet exciting at the same time.
In 2011 – 2012 the number of people to receive their citizenship in Australia was a staggering 84,183 and of the 180 countries from which they originated, the most common nationality to become an Australian citizen was the United Kingdom followed by India1.

With so much cultural diversity in Australia we are fortunate to be exposed to a variety of different foods, sporting events, entertainment and diverse fashion. So, out of curiosity, what have the British people brought to Australia that we now freely enjoy?

Apart from colonisation in 1788, the English language and the Union Jack, can the humble meat pie be claimed as a great British influence in Australia? The meat pie can be traced back to ancient Egypt and later Greece with various forms of a pie being developed around the world and adopted in to many cultures. The Cornish pasty, a similar version of the meat pie, originated in Cornwall for workers underground who needed something warming and filling for the long and dark days in tunnels and mines.

In Australia we enjoy the delightful tastes of both the meat pie and the pasty and it is likely that this is a British influence that we freely enjoy in Australia as part of our rich and diverse culture. Get out the pastry dish and stock up on beef, so you serve up some meat pie and sauce this Australia day!

To all of our new Australian’s, congratulations on this milestone in your lives.

To Australian’s new and old celebrating our national day, enjoy the celebrations, stay safe and remember one of our national slogans – be sun safe and slip, slop, slap, wrap.

Happy Australia Day.

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Further Reading:

1 http://www.citizenship.gov.au/learn/facts-and-stats/

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