Upon reflection it seems that most of my Australian posts have had to do with the past, while this interests me and some of you too it gives no insight into the modern vibrant Australia that I live in today, I will make some effort to correct this situation.
Australia sits proudly among the worlds “developed” countries, which probably means only that we have similar debts, frustrations, crime rates and problems to other “developed” countries.
Our location in the Southern Hemisphere (Down Under) means that our seasons are the reverse of our Northern Hemisphere contemporaries, things happen a day earlier here as far as the clock goes but in fact, due to our relative remoteness and small population we play “catch up” most of the time when it comes to world trends.
Our very large island continent is divided into only 6 states, 1 of which is the tiny island of Tasmania, and 2 territories (please don’t ask why the 2 territories are not states…its completely beyond me) about half of our population live in the capital cities of these states the other half predominately live in other cities and towns which to a very large extent are clustered along our Eastern seaboard, the huge “Red Centre” that we love to fantasize about has only been seen by perhaps 10% of Australians.
Our city’s are modern with “adequate” services and facilities but we suffer; water shortages, power restrictions, road gridlocks, urban sprawl and sundry other modern problems, much like the rest of the world!!!
We have a vast supply of minerals; coal (fast becoming a dirty word), iron ore, bauxite (aluminium), copper, silver, gold, diamonds and even uranium, but having chosen?? To live in the “world society” governed by the “world market” we have an ever decreasing manufacturing industry choosing?? To import a huge percentage of our needs from “developing” countries.
Our climate is diverse as well, it ranges from temperate in the South with 4 distinct seasons to sub-tropical in the North with a Wet and a Dry season, this South to North covers some 2500 miles so there is a gradual change as you travel rather than a sudden change.
In the Southern highlands we have more snow annually than Switzerland but in almost all other regions there is no snowfall at all, the relative humidity of the North, often hovering around 75%, particularly near the coast line (where most of us live) takes visitors by surprise and takes a lot of getting used to.
Rainfall also varies from “a few metres” around the mountains of the North to 30 inches as an average in our best areas to 10 inches in our marginal country, the red centre gets only a small portion of that 10 inch annual rainfall.
Predominately we still live in houses that are located on their own block of ground but there has been a trend over the last 20/30 years toward more communal living, apartments and cluster style housing.
Our Government is based on the British Parliamentary system with an upper and lower house, similar I suppose to the government and senate of the USA, we have basically a two party system; Labor, traditionally blue collar workers, and Liberal, traditionally white collar workers, these lines often get muddied up a bit as times change and minor parties emerge, usually briefly, for their 5 minutes of fame.
Australia is peopled predominantly by Christian white anglo-saxon’s although we have had for many years a substantial immigration program which now means that people from almost every country on earth call Australia home, this has led to many changes in most aspects of life in Australia from religion, to foods and cultures.
To write a post such as this without mentioning Sport would be like going to a Barbie (barbecue) without the snags (sausages) and burgers, Australians are among the most sport oriented people on earth, whether its as participants or as spectators, whether they are male, female, adult or child when it comes to sport we are there!!!!!!
Should any aspect of this post strike your fancy I will be pleased to give you more information on it.