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Australia Notebook

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Quotes about and from Australia

It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice we can imagine its opposite. And we can have justice. – Paul Keating (see Wikipedia)

It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice, then we can imagine its opposite.
– Paul Keating, (sampled in From little things big things grow)
From little things big things grow.
– Popular song in Australia (2008)

If we don’t all prosper together, then nothing will have been achieved.
Eels, Stone Houses and National Heritage

Virtus sola nobilitas (virtue is the only nobility)
Sir Charles Nicholson

There is always hope. The world can change, again, does change for the better because of the countless acts of goodness and courage by people too often dismissed as everyday and ordinary. And it will change because the people want it. And in the end the people will endure in that.
Richard Flanagan

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today.
– Popular expression

Is our storytelling keeping up with our diverse cultural reality?
Beyond the Anglosphere, ABC (2009)

Today we begin with one small step; to set right the wrongs of the past. It’s taken 41 parliaments to get here; we can be a bit slow sometimes, but we got here. And, when it comes to the parliaments of the future, this will become part and parcel of the fabric of our celebration of Australia in all of its unity and all of its diversity.
– Kevin Rudd, An Indigenous welcome for Federal Parliament

In 1927 at the opening of Parliament House, among the crowd stood an old Aboriginal man, dressed in his old suit, barefoot and dogs at his side. His name was Billy Clements. On seeing Mr. Clements a policeman asked him to leave, because he wasn’t dressed appropriately for the occasion. Mr. Clements did not want to be moved on; after all, this was the land of all our ancestors. I stand here before you, in this same great institution of ceremonial dress and barefoot, honoured and welcome.
– Matilde House, An Indigenous welcome for Federal Parliament

Unless we use natural resources in a sustainable way, we are mining the future. Unless the relationships between our citizens are respectful and inclusive, we are a divided and diminished society.
– Rick Farley, Australia Day 2003 Address

We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through 50,000 years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of dispossession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation.
– Paul Keating, Redfern Aboriginal Australia Speech

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schulz

What do we mean by sustainability? It is the overriding disideratum that we should live without destroying future prosperity. Sustainability is integral to our sense of ourselves as a nation because we must achieve it if we are truly to call this continent ‘ours.’
– Tim Flannery, Beautiful Lies

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi
Popular expression

It’s our game. They just play it.
– Fan’s assessment of Australian footy, Sports Factor

If you want to know about the book, go to the author, not the photocopier.
– Paul Keating

To understand Australia, to get under that rawhide skin and reach out and feel its pounding sporting heart, is to watch footy.
– Rohit Brijnath, Country First

Look ahead for open spaces. Let young people be given the opportunity of taking an active and not merely a passive interest in games. It is often said that our young men are too much addicted to outdoor games – cricket, football etc., but I think the contrary is the case. They are possibly too much addicted to looking at games, and that is not a healthy exercise. They like to congregate in crowds, often cooped up in enclosures, and that leads to barracking, cigarette smoking and even gambling on the result of the game. A remedy for the gambling evil and an encouragement of manly sports with the physical development and moral discipline which healthy competition affords, lies not mainly in places like the Sydney Cricket Ground. I look upon that institution as the place of spectacle, as the university of sport.
– Joseph Maiden, Director of the Botanic Gardens, Rugby League: More than just a game

Western Australia is a long way from the rest of the country and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way.
Australia Handbook

What are you going to so that you can arrive on your deathbed 50 years from now with a big grin on your face that says ‘lord sakes that was a ripper. that was a good life well lived.’ For me that means engaging meaningfully with what I think I am here on the planet to do.
Petrea King, Bush Telegraph

You cannot do good things to Aboriginal people. You can only do good things with Aboriginal people.
Australia Says Sorry to Stolen Generation

At the heart of Melbourne are 3.6 million Melburnians. Between them, they speak over 140 languages and at least 1.3 million residents were born overseas. The diversity of ideas, flavours and experiences that multiethnic communities contribute are fundamental to this city’s being.
– Simone Egger, Melbourne

In Australia, in almost every public event, certainly in northern New South Wales, the original custodianship of aboriginal people is acknowledged by tribal name first thing and any surviving elders are included front and center to say their peace. Right here right now, this practice has gone a long way toward acknowledging on a daily basis the often glaring absence of first people.
– Marcus Endicott

Backpacker tourism is a major economic driver for Victoria. For over a decade Tourism Victoria has recognised the growth potential of the backpacker segment. In 2007 18.0 per cent of all international visitors to Victoria were backpackers contributing close to $500 million to the local economy. Backpacker visitors tend to stay longer and spend more than the average international visitor to Victoria. Backpackers have a higher propensity to disperse into regional Victoria benefiting regional economies and are more likely to be repeat visitors to the State. Backpackers provide additional benefits to the Victorian economy by alleviating seasonal labour shortages due to visa entitlements which allow them to work in Australia during their stay. Anecdotal evidence suggests that backpackers are more environmentally sensitive visitors, with travel patterns that are more sustainable and less intrusive than other visitor segments. Backpackers are also less vulnerable to fluctuating economic conditions and are more likely to be resilient travellers in the wake of challenges such as the global financial crisis.
Draft Backpacker Tourism Action Plan 2009-2013

Touring is where the money is.
Wide Open Road

For nature-based tourism, visitors are now seeking experiences and destinations that are actively reducing their impacts on climate change and the size of their carbon footprint. Nature-based tourism, in particular, can and must play a significant role in addressing climate change.
Victoria’s Nature-Based Tourism Strategy

Introducing this strategic philosophy will initially confront some people, because it will require cultural change. However, this change is the single most important outcome proposed by this plan. Achieving this change will require a mix of presentations, discussions and distribution and reference of this plan over many years. It will require a mix of champions, working together and supporting each other, drawing on the Plan and case studies to demonstrate the value of changing. This is the fundamental action required.
– Tourism Plan for Public Land in the Otway Hinterland, Department for Sustainability and Environment

I’d like to quote what I think is a wonderful example of misundstanding. My son in primary school learned the national anthem and he was most anxious to come home and sing the national anthem that he had learned at school. It turns out no one gave him the words but he was picking this up from the big kids: Australia is full of ostriches for we are young and free with golden soil and welcome joy our home is skirt by sea. Our land abounds in nature strips of beauty rich and rare. In this respect the pastries fresh advance Australia fare. That’s about misunderstanding and what I am proposing is that we all should make that effort to understand each other and what we do.
– Lin Onus, The Urban Dingo – Awaye

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.
– National Anthem



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