Welcome to our "adopted" country--wonderful Australia!
Enjoy the overview of our country and the various tidbits of trivia.
"In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Until this time, Australia used Britain's flag, the Union Jack. A competition was held to find the design for Australia's own flag. Five designers shared the prize because they came up with similar ideas for the Australian flag.
In the top left hand corner is the Union Jack. This shows that Australia is part of the British Commonwealth. Beneath the Union Jack is a large white star with seven points. The points represent the six states and the territories. Originally this star had six points. The seventh point, for the territories was added in 1908.
On the right hand side are the stars of the Southern Cross. The southern Cross was chosen because it can always be seen in the Australian sky at night." [INTERESTING: When traveling with Team Australia as we head to Australia during their winter time, this may be the only time in your life that you will see the Southern Cross constellation as it is not visible in the Northern Hemisphere.] Source: http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/australia/flag.htm
Australian National Anthem—Advance Australia Fair
To hear Advance Australia Fair, click on the following Advance Australia Fair hyperlink (Note: Music begins 10 seconds after pressing the play button.)
"Advance Australia Fair’ is the national anthem of Australia. A revised version of a late nineteenth century patriotic song, it was officially declared the national anthem on 19 April 1984.
Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair."
Sources: http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/nat_anthem.html; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rErvPnd-2E
Prime Minister—Malcolm Turnbull
"Malcolm Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia on 15 September 2015 and was sworn in for a second term on 19 July 2016.
Mr Turnbull was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Wentworth in 2004.
Since entering public life, Mr Turnbull has held a number of parliamentary positions including Shadow Treasurer, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with responsibility for national water policy and Minister for Environment and Water Resources.
He was Leader of the Opposition from 16 September 2008 to 1 December 2009 and was later Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband.
Most recently, Mr Turnbull was Minister for Communications from 18 September 2013 to 21 September 2015.
Malcolm was educated at Vaucluse Public School and Sydney Grammar School and graduated from Sydney University with a BA LLB. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a further law degree at Oxford.
He is married to Lucy, and has two adult children, Alex and Daisy, and two grandchildren, Jack and Isla."
Australia is a country and continent that is home to over 24+ million people that are spread out among 7 states. Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, are the top two highest populated cities with each having over 4 million people--Brisbane is 3rd with over 2 million people, Adelaide is ranked 5th with over 1 million people, and the Mildura-Wentworth area is ranked 28th with having almost 50,000 people. Throughout our 32 days, Team Outreach Australia will drive several thousand kilometers ministering to the aforementioned cities located in four of the seven states: Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland.
Because Australia has English roots, driving is on the left side of the road; so in essence, American drivers must remember that basically everything is backwards/opposite. Also, one must remember that miles per hour is now kilometers per hour and the typical speed limit on the National Highways/Motorways is 110 kilometers per hour (almost 70 mph). Because Australia is such a large area, our ministries are spread out and required much driving. For example, the distance between Melbourne and Brisbane is about 1,700 kilometers (16 hours), Brisbane to Sydney is about 900 kilometers (10 hours), Sydney to Mildura is also about 1,000 kilometers (10 hours), Mildura to Adelaide is about 400 kilometers (4 hours), and Mildura to Melbourne is about 550 kilometers (about 6 hours). Generally once night falls, unless one is crazy, due to roaming wildlife (kangaroos, emus, black cows) one stays off of the roads especially outside of the towns/cities. Because of the wildlife and particularly the kangaroos, many folks equip their vehicles with "roo" bars and/or an extra set of headlights to help scour the night roads.
Upon arriving to Australia on June 30, they are in their winter season where nights become chilly and can dip to freezing temperatures. Thankfully, the days warm up to around 10-15 degrees celsius (in the 50's and 60's). During the evening, particularly out of the towns on a clear evening, one can clearly see the Milky Way galaxy and myriads of stars--particularly the Southern Cross constellation. One can only think of what David said in Psalm 19:1 when he said, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
Australia is a very developed country and is #5 in the world for having the best economy per the 2017 Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom (see http://www.heritage.org/index/). The people are friendly and very approachable as "we" are the stars when it comes to having an accent--they love to hear "Yanks" talk as it always opens up an avenue for conversation. Speaking of conversation, bakeries are a staple of the Australian culture as well as the Aussie meat pie. The stores and products are very comparable to US stores; although, Burger King is called "Hungry Jack's" and McDonald's is often referred to as "Macca's." By the way, the McDonald's McCafe concept first began in Australia and as you can see is quite extravagant! Nonetheless, many products are very expensive as compared to the United States, but that is not a problem for the Aussies since the minimum wage is $17 per hour. They might need that extra incentive especially since petrol (gas) is almost $5.00 a gallon and even Poptarts are expensive too (Thankfully they were on sale, but of course we still did not purchase them!).
Australian National Past-Time—Aussie Rules Football (Footy)
Every country has a sport which dominates its society and the talk of its people and in Australia, it is the Australian Football League or what is affectionately called "Aussie Rules Football" or "footy." [Note: It would be important to make the distinction that generally anything north of Sydney, "footy" would be known as "rugby;" therefore, we are mainly talking near the Melbourne area.] In America, basically every town has a baseball field; in Australia, most towns have an oval (footy field). Footy can best be described as an exciting combination of rugby, soccer, American football, volleyball, and throw in a little all-star wrestling and you have the perfect mix all done with no helmets, no padding--just sheer manhood. From Sydney on the east coast, Perth on the west coast, and points in-between (particularly around Melbourne), 18 teams play 23 games from the middle of March through the end of August to determine the top 8 spots on the "ladder." It then gets really exciting as these top 8 teams play during the month of September to determine who the 2 finalists are who then play the Grand Final at the end of September/first week in October. Just in case anyone asks, the Hawthorn Hawks ARE the official team of Team Australia, well, ok, maybe the official team of the Cirones even though they haven't done too well in the past couple of years. To learn more about footy, you can visit http://www.afl.com.au/. It is amazing, though, that having a basic knowledge of footy very easily opens up opportunities to engage people in conversation (particularly men) which could ultimately lead to being a witness for the Lord.
Graphic Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au
Unusual Facts About Australia
- "The name Australia comes from the Latin Terra Australis Incognito which means the Unknown Southern Land.
- Over 90% of Australia is dry, flat and arid. Almost three-quarters of the land cannot support agriculture in any form.
- Aborigines are the native tribes of Australia. They spoke around 200 languages and dialects. However, ninety percent of the languages and dialects including Aboriginal arts and culture have become extinct, after the British invaded this tiny island continent.
- Canberra - Because Sydney and Melbourne kept bickering over which city should be the capital of Australia, it was decided that neither of them would be capital and instead, a new capital would be built in the middle of them both.
- The snowy mountains of Australia or the Australian Alps receive more snow than Switzerland.
Kangaroo - The name for the Australian marsupial Kangaroo came about when some of the first white settlers saw this strange animal hopping along and they asked the Aborigines what it was called. They replied with 'Kanguru', which in the native language meant 'I don't know'.
- Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- Rabbits - For each person in Australia there are two sheep and over 16 rabbits, the latter introduced in 1859 by one enterprising man who brought 24 wild rabbits from England in an effort to remind him of home.
- Box Jelly fish - The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
- The Sydney Funnelweb spider is considered the world's most deadly spider. It is the only spider that has killed people in less than 2 hours. Its fangs are powerful enough to bite through gloves and fingernails. The only animals without immunity to the funnelweb's venom are humans and monkeys.
- The Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan has the most toxic venom of any snake. Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice.
- Newspaper readership - Per capita, Australians read more newspapers than any other nation.
- There are actually four types of Boomerang - the "hook", the "hunter", "the club", "the V". All were used for hunting and warfare. Only one of the four will return when thrown - The Hunter.
- Long fence - The 'dingo fence' in Australia is the longest fence in the world, and is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
- The world’s largest cattle station/ranch is in Australia. It is the size of the country Belgium.
- The World’s longest mail run in a single day is the flying postman’s route. From Cairns to Cape York the postie covers 1450km over nine hours with ten stops."
"The language that is commonly spoken by the Australians is English. Here are certain terms and their meanings.
- Barbie—Barbecue Grill
- Billy Tea—Tea made over a camp fire in a tin can
- Chewie—Chewing Gum
- Fairy Floss—Cotton
- Give it a Burl—Try it
- Lolly Water—Soda
- See you in soup—See you around