Friday, December 26, 2008

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race


Boxing Day in Australia marks the start of the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The race which has been run for 64 years, is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious and challenging yachting events.

Starting in Sydney Harbour, the course runs for 628 nautical miles along the east coast of Australia, across Bass Strait and up Tasmania’s Derwent River to the finish line. Not without its dangers, many Australians still remember the terrible storms that battered the 1998 race fleet, sinking five boats and claiming six lives.

This year, the yacht SWD (Sailors with disABILITIES) will line up again to tackle the race. The crew of seven have a variety of disabilities but this did not stop them winning their race division last year. Good luck SWD. We hope you manage to equal (if not better) your achievement last year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

From the entire team here at, we would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday.

We would also like to share with you a particularly Australian Christmas song. In 1961 Rolf Harris released Six White Boomers which we thought you might enjoying listening to on Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Emu War

Emu HeadNot all events in Australia's past are glamorous or awe inspiring. The Emu War that occurred in Western Australia's Campion district in 1932 is one such incident that we feel sure the majority of our readers would have preferred never happened.

Emus are large flightless birds. They are a national symbol and appear prominently on the Australian Coat of Arms along side the kangaroo.

Australian Coat of Arms

Article from Canberra Times, 12 November 1932In 1932, following concerns by local farmers about the destruction created by emu's on their crops and water supplies, the Australian army was called in to eradicate a population of approximately 20,000 birds. Under the leadership of Major Meredith, soldiers with two Lewis machine guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition went to battle against their foe. The soldiers quickly discovered that the emus were more than a match for them, quickly scattering whenever they came under fire. After several days, with only 100 of the emus killed, Major Meredith stated, "If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world. They could face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus....".

Less than a week later, Australia's Defence Minister, George Pearce, ordered the army's withdrawal and with that they withdrew, defeated.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Day of Summer

In Australia (southern hemisphere), 1st December marks the official "first day of summer".   A time when Christmas is on our minds with Christmas parties, plans for summer holidays and time with family and friends.