Observations & musings

Australia Day

Ah, you gotta love Australia Day. It’s a day where many of us take a government endorsed sickie so we can celebrate in all sorts of ways what it means to be an Australian, what’s great about living here, where we have gone wrong in the past and where we are heading in the future. And we do this while participating in all sorts of activates that often include a beach, some friends and a BBQ where it is mandatory to eat lamb and sausages and follow that with some lamingtons and a pavlova. And beer. Lots and lots of beer.

My morning started early when I suited up with the rest of my St John crew and headed to Altona’s Australia Day triathlon at The Esplanade. In between customers, we chewed the fat over some 2011 Australia Day highlights and lowlights.

In no particular order:

Kangaroos invade the races at Hanging Rock. And refuse to leave. Brilliant!

The Number 11 song on Triple J’s hottest 100 this year? ABC News Remix by Pendulum.

Donald Richie OAM - Australia's Local Hero of 2011

The complete and utter awesomeness of 85 yo Donald Ritchie. For the last 50 years, Donald has lived by ‘The Gap’, an area in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with a really big cliff and an infamous for being a suicide spot. Don keeps an eye out for people who might need help and has coaxed away over 160 people from the cliff’s edge through the simple act of inviting them back to his home for a chat over a cup of tea. You would probably find no more deserving winner of the 2011 Local Hero Award and Order of Australia Medal.

Arguments over national identity. Well, it really wouldn’t be Australia day with some debate about becoming a republic and changing the Australian flag now, would it?

Kinglake, a Victorian town almost scorched into oblivion by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires takes time out this week and on Australia Day to raise money for Queensland Flood Relief. Kinglake residents were reported as saying that Queenslanders were affected by the floods as Victoria burned to the ground but nevertheless dug deep to help Victoria get back on its feet. The residents of Kinglake, despite themselves still having a long way to go to heal the hurt, are determined to repay that gift of kindness and gratitude.

Coles and Woolworth have reduced the cost of their own brand of milk and would have you believe that they are doing this ‘for us, the consumer’ out the goodness of their own hearts. It all sounds to us like Coles and Woolies doing their usual cartel thing and attempting to drive the other milk brands out of the market altogether in order to create a duopoly and following that, control the price of milk. But nooooo, surely they wouldn’t do something as evil as that. Would they?

And lastly, the fun and frivolity of the Havaianas Thong Challenge.

Happy Australia Day!

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