A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me.
- extracted from My Country, a poem by Dorothea Mackellar.
I am not insanely patriotic, but I must admit that I do genuinely love Australia. In spite of its faults and shortcomings, I feel like Australia has truly grown considerably as a nation and I always feel completely at home when I am in Australia. Sure we have some problems, I am not claiming that we are 'the perfect nation,' however, when you compare Australia to a lot of other countries, it is easy to see why we have been labelled The Lucky Country for so long.
I have travelled and seen a lot of different places in the world, and I feel that I can say without a doubt, that Australia has some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the world. I think that the land of Australia is second to none, we really do have it all here. As far as land bragging rights go, Australia has it in buckets.
Australia is actually the 6th largest country in the world and it's ocean territory in the third largest in the world, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres of water. 91% of Australia's landmass is covered in vegetation because even our desert landscapes are home to native plants. Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and is home to more than one million species of plants and animals, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% percent of mammals, more than 45% percent of birds and 89% of inshore, freshwater fish are unique to Australia. We also have around 140 species of marsupials that are native to our country and we are best known for our exotic creatures like the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.
We have one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world, spanning over tens of thousands of years. The original custodians were inextricably linked to the land, its forms, its flora and its fauna. The knowledge and culture of our Indigenous Australians has shaped our nation; and through their understandings, all Australians now share a relationship with the natural environment.
Australia is incredibly multicultural, in fact one in four of our 22 million people were actually born overseas. 46% of Australians have a parent that was born overseas and 20% of Australians speak a language other than English in their own home. Since 1945 almost seven million people have migrated to Australia, and in spite of often being called a racist nation, in a recent poll 84% of Australians said that multiculturalism had vastly improved our country and 86% said that they are in support of all actions to tackle racism in our country. Thankfully, we now also have same sex marriage marriage, and overall I do believe that we are moving forward as a nation of inclusiveness.
Melbourne, Victoria has been ranked the most liveable city in the world for seven years running in The Global Liveability ranks, which is determined by healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment and infrastructure. Although we are one of the most urbanised countries in the world, we are also one of the most coastal-dwelling populations, with over 80% of Australians living within 100 kilometres of the coast.
Australia has become one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world for travellers and every year millions of tourists visit our shores to experience its beauty and diverse travel experiences. Our most desired travel locations are listed below, and it is easy to see why people want to have these experiences, they are all truly amazing places.
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Daintree Rainforest
- The Whitsundays
- Broome and the Kimberley
- The Great Ocean Road
- Margaret River Region
- Cradle Mountain
- Kakadu National Park
- Fraser Island
- South Australia Wine Regions
- Arnhem Land
When you look at it all together, it is easy to see why I love Australia and why I am proud to call Australia home. We really do have bragging rights, we are a great nation, we have come a long way and we should be proud of that fact. Loving where you live makes life so much better and I am proud to say that I do love my sunburnt country, and that in Australia we really do have the best of everything.
Release Date: 2017
Running Time: 105 mins
An Australian mystery drama, directed by Rachel Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Craig Silvey. I believe that Jasper Jones may well be the most underrated movie of 2017 because in spite of its terrific performances, engrossing storyline and strong messages about prejudice, I don't recall hearing anyone talking about this film, and that is truly a shame because it is a fantastic watch.
It is 1969 and young Charlie Bucktin just wants to enjoy his summer holiday break. That all changes when the local outcast, Jasper Jones, knocks on his window in the middle of night seeking help. Charlie quickly becomes embroiled in a local tragedy and soon discovers that he is living in a town full of hidden secrets.
This is a terrific Aussie coming of age tale, with a retro-rural vibe that I adored. The acting is great, with Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving and Angourie Rice all delivering emotionally striking performances, and Aaron L. McGrath and Levi Miller delivering well as the curious and concerned teens.
I was actually surprised by how touching and affecting this film was in places and I genuinely enjoyed watching the mystery come together as the story unfolded. The dark material in this film is handled sensitively, and the fact that Perkins didn't feel compelled to put a bow on everything at the end really added a lot of credence to the story for me. Jasper Jones is a true hidden gem.
FINAL SAY: Sorry
3.5 Chilli Peppers