This is Life

Celebrating Australia Day 2015

This captures so perfectly what it means to me to be an Aussie.
This captures so perfectly what it means to me to be an Aussie.                {IMAGE CREDIT}

We are one
But we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are we are Australian…………

 (© 1987 Bruce Woodley & Dobe Newton)

So goes the chorus of the iconic Australian song ‘I am Australian’.  Written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of renowned group The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers it is literally a history lesson in a song. Performed to perfection by The Seekers, it is a song that gives me goose bumps every time I here it.

But what does it really many to be an Australian?  And what makes a person an Australian?  I consider myself to be very much an Australian.  I was born here as were my parents and grandparents. But my great grandparents were born in Ireland and Scotland before immigrating to Australia.

To me living in Australia means I have freedoms that so many other countries do not.  We are not at war with our neighbours ( imagine a war between say Queensland and NSW) Despite what occurred in Sydney at the end of last year I still believe that Australia is a very safe country to live and that it will continue to be so in years to come.  I had access to a fantastic education, I have never had to go with out food or water and I have always had a place to live.  I have also always had access to employment and health care.  Although we still do fall down in some of these areas, I think we are doing much better than many other countries.

Australia is a such a huge, vast country and there is so much to see and do from east to west and everywhere in between.  We live on the coast but within a 20 minute drive we can be in the beautiful rain forest wilderness of the Gold Coast’s Hinterland.  I love that diversity.

I did wonder though what those who were not born here thought of their lives in Australia and how they had come to live in Australia.  So I put a call out to some friends and fellow bloggers to tell me how they came to be living in Australia, how long they had been here for and what it meant to them to be an ‘Aussie.’

What does being an 'Aussie' mean to you?
What does being an ‘Aussie’ mean to you? {IMAGE CREDIT}

Joanne – blogger at Adelaide Kids.  We arrived in Australia in April 2004 from Yorkshire, England.  At the time there was myself and my husband, my teenage daughter, our toddler and I was 3 months pregnant.  My husband is a nurse and one day I noticed on his wage slip from work a note stating that there was a shortage of nurses in Australia and to call to find out more. I told my husband to call and it all stemmed from there. So we didn’t exactly choose Australia, there was no big dream beforehand. From seeing that note to arriving it took only 6 months. It was 6 months of frantic planning though – visas, medicals, selling our house, finishing work, booking shippers etc etc.

I count my blessings every day that fate brought us here – it was obviously meant to be. Although it did take us a good 2 years to settle properly (the homesickness was bad in the beginning) I feel so lucky that we get to live in such a beautiful country and that my children get to have such a wonderful childhood with so many more experiences than they would have had in the UK. My youngest daughter was born here and my eldest daughter has settled with her partner and has 2 children of her own now. My eldest daughter has been back to the UK for a visit but the rest of us have never been back.

We will never lose our English heritage and background, it’s always going to be a special place to us, it’s where 2 of my children were born and 3 of them conceived but Australia is the place we all call home now. There’s so much to do here that I started a blog/website to help other parents here in Adelaide, find fun and exciting things to do together and spend quality time as a family.

Suzanne – Ireland.  Suzanne was actually born here in 1974. Her parents came over on a boat in 1972 but they didn’t settle so they moved back to Ireland in 1978. She then decided to move here with her hubby and daughter in 2006.  Suzanne says, “As I was born here I always had a longing to return and I thought we could give our daughter a better way of life especially health wise as she suffered with Asthma in Ireland with the damp weather. I don’t think with my accent I would ever be described as an ‘Aussie”, but I would describe the Aussie way of living as being exciting and a better lifestyle for family although it is tough being so far away from our extended family. I do look forward to many road trips to see the rest of this beautiful country in the future when my son is older!”

Shantini  – blogger at The Missus Blogs says, “I moved to Melbourne in August last year and it has been 6 months (and counting!) since making the big move from Malaysia after talking about it for some years. It’s definitely not easy giving up that sense of familiarity and comfort level while missing family members from back home but it’s something we felt like we needed to do – at least for a change of lifestyle/environment.

My husband moved to Melbourne in early 2014 to set up our home, get a car, find a job while my daughter and I waited to get our visas approved. I moved 6 months later with my 4 year old. {We moved} For a simple reason – to enjoy a more balanced lifestyle and a better education system for my child.

There is a higher sense of having an all rounder lifestyle here which fits into what I strongly believe in. I can’t personally say that I feel Aussie yet. But my 4 year old daughter is most definitely fitting in well with her favorite phrase being ‘no worries’ these days!”

Lois – New Zealand.  Lois moved here in 1995 with her husband, who was born here, and their two kids. They moved because they wanted to see what it was like to live in his country of birth.  Lois thinks being an ‘Aussie’ means being able to live a great life style.

Gert – Denmark says “I moved to Australia in 1998 from a very cold Denmark! I was a true Viking escaping the cold!   I came all by myself since I was 38! I was told to bring only my ‘summer’ clothes. Jokes are still told about the woolly jumpers and jeans that were my Danish summer clothes and made the trip with me!

Australia is a much bigger island than the one I lived on in Denmark.  It was also home to a woman named Tracey – (blogger at Life Changing Year) that I had a thing for. She’s now my wife!  I love the friendly people in Australia. Everywhere you go people talk to you straight away. All I say is G’day mate and I have instant friends all over the country! I wear shorts and t-shirts all year since I now have two summers. The hot Aussie summer and the cooler Danish summer temperatures!”



Your’s in ‘Aussie-ness’ Melba xx

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Australia Day 2015”

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