“we are one… but we are many”
As an English-born Australian, I can’t claim to be “Australian Made” but I came to Australia in my early 20’s and it has been my home and shaped my character for more than half my life. I’ve lived in the West, Far North and on the East Coast and have travelled extensively throughout the remote Outback regions and to many of the continent’s fringing islands – including the largest,Tasmania.
Australia is a vast island continent with a small population of 23 million. It is the driest inhabited continent and home to one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world. The Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples have been living here for probably over 60,000 years.
Europeans came here in large numbers from 1788 when Australia became a penal colony and the dumping ground for English prisoners. After the upheavals of WW11 in Europe, many migrants came here to make a new life in a safe place free from persecution and poverty and brought with them their cultural traditions – adding colour and vibrancy to the then mainly Anglo-Celtic population.
Australia is far from perfect – though the state of Queensland does claim to be “beautiful one day, perfect the next”. We face the challenges of crime, pollution and traffic congestion in our cities, land degradation, coastal erosion and threats to the survival of our wildlife. We sometimes take our overall wealth and stable political system for granted but appreciate our good weather and laid-back life-style.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Australia has many blessings and much that is unique in the world – from the mighty Uluru (Ayres Rock) in the red centre to the Great Barrier Reef which follows our eastern coastline for 2000 kilometers. “Australian Made” is about the people, places, products and wildlife which make this Great Southern Land so special.