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By pete — 12 months ago
AE 398 – Interview: On Celebrating Australia Day & Changing The Date with Ian Smissen
G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I have yet another interview for you guys. Today’s a special interview, because it’s with my father, it’s with my dad. So, we sat down on Australia Day the other day and we had a bit of a chat about what it was like for him growing up, how he learnt about Australia day in school, how it compares to places like America and the different holidays they have. We kind of talk about patriotism and nationalism in Australia compared to America as well, and how you should celebrate Australia Day if you are from overseas, but you want to take part in that holiday.
So, it’s a good episode today guys. Remember, if you want to study today’s episode you can do so in the Aussie English Classroom and you’ll get a five- maybe a seven-minute excerpt from today’s interview with vocab, a listening comprehension exercise, and we sort of discuss some of the sentences and language that is used in each interview. There’s a whole bunch of other interviews up there at the moment too from the past weeks that you can also study. So, this is a really good way to practice your Aussie English comprehension.
Anyway guys, remember to give that a go, and remember, if you want to sign up for the Aussie English Classroom, if you’re thinking about it, you have until Sunday night this week, so the fourth of February, to sign up at the current rate before the price is increased on Monday. So, if you want to save $17 per month when you sign up for the Aussie English Classroom sign up before Sunday. Anyway, you can give it a go for one dollar for your first month. Get in there and start upgrading your Aussie English.
Anyway, let’s get into today’s interview, guys. Take it away dad.
Alright, Dad welcome to the Aussie English podcast.
Hey! Good to be back.
You’ve been on quite a few times. I don’t think I put any of the episodes up. So, I’ll have to see what the order is in the future with this one.
Oh well, so yeah. Hi everyone. Happy to be here if it’s the first time. Happy to be back.
I think that’s going to be probably out early, ’cause we’re going to be talking about Australia Day. So, yeah well, I’ve got three days to get it up.
You’ve got three days to get it up.
So, well I can just… I guess, we should just start with your experience of Australia Day growing up, how you celebrated it, and maybe a bit about the history of it.
Yeah well look, Australia Day for me was just, when I was a kid, was just another public holiday. You don’t see the significance of it as an Australian national celebration when you were a child. It’s just another public holiday. But it always falls in the school holidays anyway. So, it was really just a day that both Mum and Dad were available, and we… you know, it was… often we’d go away for the day or we’d go to the beach or we do something like that. So, mostly it was a family thing, when I was a child. As I was growing up, once I got to be a teenager or a young adult, a lot of it was around another time just to hang out with your mates. The classic Australian… have the Australian barbecue or go to the beach or… used to be back in those days, there was always a cricket match on. The way the scheduling of cricket is done now it’s a bit different. But so, there’s always something to go and do with your friends.
So, what were your fondest memories of that sort of holiday? Was it always related to the beach?
Yeah mostly the beach, because obviously it’s falling in the middle of our summer, and it’s a public holiday, so both parents were available. So, it was a sort of family thing to go to the beach.
And how would you compare it, I guess, to things like July 4th and our perception of that in Australia? Is Australia overly nationalistic or patriotic?
Yeah, there is a patriotic element to it. I think there’s… we’re not as patriotic as the Americans are with regard to some of the symbols like Independence Day, the flag, and those sort of things, but there’s a strong element of that.
It’s the weirdest thing, I think I notice for Australia Day’s probably the only time you’ll see the Australian flag, unless it’s maybe Anzac Day.
Yeah, I mean there are flags on buildings and those sort of things, and, you know, public buildings always have, you know, the Australian flag or the state flag or both, sometimes the Aboriginal flag here or the Aboriginal Torres Strait Island flag, even though Torres Strait Islander have their own know. They identify with the standard sort of black red and yellow one. So, there’s that element. But you’re right. I think, you know, if you go driving around today two or three days before Australia day there’ll be people who’ll have the Australian flag hanging from the aerial on a car and they’ll have it, you know, maybe in the front of the house and things, but, you know, that doesn’t happen as often.
And the funny thing is they take it down pretty much straightaway after, right?
Yeah, it’d go down. So, it’s there for the, you know, celebration of the day rather than it being a sort of nationalistic patriotic thing full-time.
What do you think with that? Digging in and going away from Australia a slightly. Why do you think Americans are so much more patriotic than Australians when, you know, I would imagine both countries have their reasons to be proud of who they are?
Yeah, yeah, and, look, it’s difficult to judge the distinction between patriotism and the symbolism of patriotism. I think most people around the world are patriotic towards their country, but sometimes those symbols of the things that we concentrate on like the flag, the national anthem, national holidays, those sort of things. I think Americans, and you know, apologies to my American friends and relatives.
Who are learning Australian English.
Who are learning Australian English, who will cringe at what I’m about to say, but certainly as a foreigner, a non-American, my impression of American patriotism is it is about the fact that the Americans, 250 years ago, fought for their national identity. They fought to become a country. Which Australia did not.
So, we have not gone through that.
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Australia did not. Australia was a penal settlement originally and we then Federated to become a country by joining the colonies together in to states in one country, which was in 1901. Yeah. So, it’s only 117 years ago that that happened. But we never fought to become a country. We didn’t fight to get rid of the British to become a country, we just did. So, I think there’s that patriotism in most countries, as I said, about people, you know, like the country they live in and they respect the culture and the history and all those sort of things. But in the case of America, I think it is a bit of a sort of national celebration of the fact that they deliberately created a country by fighting for it.
Yeah. It was always weird for me, because, I guess, growing up I never really understood the whole being that proud, you know, of being from a certain country. In Australia, I don’t know… What did you… how do you feel about the average Australian and their sort of opinion of being Australia? Because we just don’t seem to wear it like the Americans seem to or like other countries seem to.
Yeah, look, yeah, you’re right. I think it comes down… it’s almost… it doesn’t… it doesn’t sort of eventuate or does doesn’t show until it counts. And by “it counts”, it may not be something dramatic like a war or something, but Australians are extremely patriotic when it comes to sport. You know, if we’re playing a sport against another country or we go to the Olympics or the World Championships or the Commonwealth Games or any of those sort of things, Australians become very patriotic about wanting Australians to be successful on their behalf. And so, I think that. Whereas, we just tend not to celebrate… overtly celebrate Australia as a country without any particular reason.
Yeah, it is a bit of a peculiar one with regards to that. Why do you think it’s so associated with the beach? Is it just ’cause it’s…
Well yeah, I mean, if you come from… Come from Central Australia or you come from an inland town that isn’t near the beach, then you’re not going to associate that with the beach. If you grew up in a small country town in outback New South Wales, you’re probably going to associate your leisure activities with rural activities that are not related to the beach. It could be going to a dam on a farm or it could be going to a lake, or… if there’s no water around at all, who knows what it would be. But, most of the Australian population live very close to the coast. All of our large cities are on the coast. The two largest cities, which comprise more than a third of the population of the whole country, are focused right on the beach. Melbourne on the bay and Sydney on its own surf beaches. And so, our leisure activities, particularly over summer, which is obviously along school holidays when you’re growing up, are often you go to the beach. The beach is free. It’s fun. People surf, they swim, they lie around in the sand, they play volleyball or cricket, or just hang out with their friends. So, it’s a sort of fun place to be when you’re a child, and as you keep growing up it keeps being one of those things that attracts you.
And so, did you… Did you have a deep understanding of what Australia Day was based on and meant when you were growing up as a kid? Was it taught at school?
No. As a young child, it was sort… ‘taught’ is probably exaggerating the amount of effort that was put into it. I think it was sort of mentioned. And we studied a lot of Australian history, either informally or formally, at primary school, and then if you were doing Australian history, or in fact history, you did Australian history as part of that at high school. But, Australia Day, as such, was not really celebrated from an historic point of view. There wasn’t an understanding of where it came from and those sort of things. And in fact, it’s a funny one, because the current date that we celebrate Australia Day on is celebrating, for want of a better term, or at least it’s recognising, the date that Arthur Philip in the first fleet arrived in Australia and settled, and it wasn’t Australia at the time, it was called New South Wales, which is now a state. So, it became the colony and that colony ended up becoming the state of the country. So, Australia didn’t exist. It wasn’t like we created Australia on that date. It was just a date that Europeans, white English people, celebrated that day. So, our challenge has always been that that has become the national holiday. But Australia Day, as a holiday, was not always on that date. 100 years ago, it was celebrated in July. It has also been celebrated on other days, apparently, as well. And so, the concept of a national holiday to celebrate us as a nation I think is one that is highly laudable and it’s a useful thing to do. We all like to celebrate, we all like a holiday, and celebrating our history and culture as a nation is a good thing to do. Whether that date is the right date is the current argument politically that’s going on around Australia at the moment?
So, can you summarise that, I guess, from both sides at all? Why is it controversial having Australia Day on the 26th of January?
Well, as I said, you know, we celebrate it as the date of the creation of the colony in New South Wales in what is now the city of Sydney. Indigenous people, many indigenous people, call it ‘Invasion Day’, because that’s the day that Europeans came and landed in the country and stayed. There had been Europeans coming here previously, but yeah, they were exploring or they just landed by accident. They hadn’t come to create a home. And Europeans did in the part of the English did the 26th of January in 1788. And so, we are celebrating that date, and it is rightful, a reasonable celebration, for a proportion of the population, but the people who are… the indigenous people and those who identify either as or with indigenous people, feel that it is not an appropriate day to have a holistic view of the celebration of Australia, because for them, it was the day that their culture got invaded and all of the horrendous things that happened to their culture afterwards are not worthy of celebrating on that day. So, that’s one side of that argument. The other side of the argument is that it’s Australia day and therefore it should be celebrated. The challenge we have at the moment is that, and the thing that irritates me particularly among some of the conservative commentators and politicians, is that they are criticising people who are claiming that Australia Day should not be on that day, but conflating that with an argument saying “it’s on Australian, how can you, you know, argue about Australia Day.
…Want to change it?
And as far as I’ve read and seen, nobody is saying we shouldn’t have Australia Day. They’re simply saying it shouldn’t be on that date. And so, the conflating argument is always around, you know, it’s un-Australian to criticise Australia Day. The people who are criticising it are not criticising Australia Day as a concept, they’re criticising having it on that date. And I think we have to look at that argument from both sides, and people will be sensitive no matter which side they look at.
I guess, it’s difficult, isn’t it, when you’ve grown up and it’s tradition, and, you know, it would be like shifting Christmas for some people. And, that’s where… like, I can at least understand, I guess, that side of the argument where it’s not even about what that day may have represented 170-200 years ago, but it’s more about what it represents for them and their lives and their personal history with that day.
Yeah, look, I agree.
That’s hard to suddenly be… You can’t just sort of change Christmas and then be like, “Yay! It’s the fourth of October! I can’t wait for this!”. It would not have the same gravity I feel.
No. You’re right. But the real challenge with it is that there hasn’t been a longstanding set of that date. It’s longer than most people who’re alive. So, you know, you’ve always celebrated Australia Day as the 26th of January. In my memory, I think I always have as well, but it’s not like that was constituted in stone when Australia was created. In 1901, when we federated Australia, we didn’t decide on a national holiday then. We had a national holiday, and we used it, but it’s become the 26th of January after that.
Well that meant nothing to the other colonies, right?
And in fact, Australia Day now is a constituted holiday. It’s written into our laws. It would have to be changed, if we’re no longer going to call it Australia Day and move to another day. But that was very recent. That’s only in the last 30 years or so, I think. You can look up the date. I’m not sure. But I remember it happening. And so, there is this challenge of, do we move day because a few people, and ‘it’s a few’, is there’re still 100,000s, if not millions who object to it, as opposed to those who object to it moving. I suspect that the large majority of people who sit in the middle are not passionate about either side of the argument and don’t really care. And that’s one of the challenges you have when you have the two extremes on both sides of an argument arguing about it but most people don’t care, then it’s really hard to move and make something happen if most people don’t care, because they end up just getting sick of both sides of the argument, because they see them both as extreme.
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So, what advice would you have for listeners or viewers at the moment, if they’re about to celebrate their first Australia Day, how did they do it?
Yeah, I think the best thing about Australia Day is find what do you think of when you think of Australian culture. If you want to be the Aussie okker bloke and sheila, to use some slang, which is probably getting a little bit out of date by now, but, then there are traditional things around the beach and sport and barbecues and hanging out with your friends and doing those sorts of things. But we do that at Christmas. Americans do it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And there’s all sorts of national holidays around the world and other holidays where people do those sorts of things. So, I think for Australia Day, it is really about doing what you think of when you think of Australia, and I know certainly here, we probably won’t go to a sporting event, but we might go to the beach.
That’s it. That’s about it.
And we’re probably have… either have friends around here for lunch or dinner time or we’ll go to their place or something.
Have a barbie.
We’ll have a barbie, exactly, depending on the weather. But Australian summers, or certainly southern Australian summers being fickle, it looks like it will be quite warm and whatever on Friday, but it may well be, you know, 18 degrees and pouring with rain, which is not exactly barbecue weather, but that’s not going to stop us getting together and having fun.
Oh, awesome. Well, dad, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast.
Thanks Pete any time.
No worries. Happy Australia.
Happy Australia Day. Enjoy it, whatever you’re doing.
See ya. guys.
Alright guys, I hope you enjoy that interview. A special thanks to my father for coming on the podcast. I’ve done quite a few episodes with him recently, although, I haven’t yet uploaded any of them. So, there’s quite a few things that I have chatted to him about, and I am sure that you guys are going to hear from him in the future. He’s one of those guys who seems to have an opinion on everything, but also know a great deal about pretty much everything. So, stay tuned and you’ll probably hear from dad in the future.
Anyway guys, don’t forget to check out the Aussie English Classroom if you want to finish today’s episode as a mini course and learn Australian English a little more in-depth. And remember that you have until Sunday the 4th of February to sign up and save $17 a month. That’s it for me today, and I hope you have an amazing week.
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By Admin — 2 months ago
AE 506 – Expression: Out of the Blue
A male surfer’s been killed in a shark attack near Wedge Island north of Perth. The attack happened just after 9 O’clock local time. Joining us now for more on the story is Sky News Perth reporter Michael Hopkins. Mike, what do we know at this stage?
Yes, hello. Well, what we know at this stage is that police have confirmed that it was, indeed, a fatal shark attack at Wedge Island, a holiday spot to Perth’s north at 9 O’clock this morning. Now, police are still searching the area with boats and also with quad bikes on the beach in a bid to find the surfer’s remains.
What is up, guys? What is up, you mob? How are you going? This is the first episode where you guys get to hear from ‘married Pete’.
So, how’s it going? Sorry, it’s been a little while with these expression episodes. I hope, as well, that you’ve got to check out the marriage and wedding episode that I published recently on the podcast and on YouTube. So, go and check that out if you haven’t and if you want to hear about all of what happened last weekend with Kel and me getting married. It was an amazing day. Anyway.
So, the video from the start there, guys, the video from the start was from Sky News, which you can check out at SkyNews.com.au. You can also check them out on YouTube and Sky News if you would like to watch stories about Australia and other parts of the world.
So, that was about a shark attack that occurred in Australia, and Australia is relatively well-known for having shark attacks relatively commonly, I guess. It’s up there in the most dangerous places in the world for sharks, but we will talk about that later on in the Aussie Fact as well as about some other animals that are more likely to kill you than sharks, and those animals might surprise you.
So, as usual guys, if you would like to support the podcast and you would like to get access to all the transcripts and all the MP3s for these episodes, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com, go to the menu click ‘Sign Up’, and for just $4.99 per month you will get access to everything.
On top of that, guys, if you would like to get access to the Aussie English Classroom and all the courses that I make for these expression episodes with vocab, with expression videos, with pronunciation videos, and other courses too with Australian interviews and Australian pronunciation, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and then click ‘Enroll’, and sign up and get in there and start levelling up your English.
I want to say a big thank you to all of you guys who signed up in the last week. We had been doing a special promotion for year memberships and 3-month memberships and a heap of you guys signed up. So, it is so good to see that the Aussie English Classroom is expanding and helping so many people. And it was a way of thanking you guys for your hard work and giving you an amazing deal when you sign up for three months or a year.
Now, those deals are gone, unfortunately, for now. They are gone. However, you are still able to sign up. You just won’t save the same amount of money. Okay. So, you’ll just jump over to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com if you’re interested in that. Anyway. Enough of talking about all that stuff, guys. Get that out of the way and let’s get into the Aussie English joke.
So, today’s expression’s ‘out of the blue’ and that have me thinking about sharks. You might see the connection later on. And so, I thought I’ll try and find a shark joke. Okay. So, here’s the joke.
What did the seal with a broken arm say to the shark? What did a seal with a broken arm say did the shark?
Do not consume if ‘seal’ is broken. It’s so stupid. Do not consume if ‘seal’ is broken.
I wonder if you get that. Alright, let me explain. So, often when you go to the shops, if you buy something that’s in a jar or in some kind of packet, quite often it will say that if the seal of the jar of the seal of the packet is broken, don’t consume the food inside, because it means that air has gotten in and there may be bacteria in there and the food may have gone off, it may have gone bad. Okay. So, you’ll often see, ‘Do not consume if seal is broken’.
So, the joke here is that obviously a seal is also that animal, you know, that lives in the ocean and jumps on the land sometimes to sunbathe than have babies, but they are often hunted by sharks, and so, the seal with a broken arm says to the shark, ‘don’t consume if seal is broken’. Jesus. Anyway, guys.
Today’s expression is ‘out of the blue’ and this came from Fatimah in the Aussie English Classroom. We have the Facebook group. We vote on these expressions. Fatimah suggested this one and she crushed it, she did very well, and it got voted on by everyone. Let’s go through and define the words in ‘out of the blue’.
So, ‘out of something’, right. ‘Out of something’. If you’re out of something, it’s that you’re coming out of something, you’re exiting something, right. It’s sort of the opposite of going into something, ‘out of something’ is leaving something, from being within something. Okay. Pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure you guys know what ‘out of something’ is.
‘The blue’. Now, this might be more confusing. ‘Blue’ is obviously a colour, right. The sky is blue. The ocean is blue. My eyes are blue. What else is blue? I don’t know. Other things are blue. Anyway. In this case, though, it doesn’t refer to the colour, specifically. It’s referring to the sky, which I guess is blue. But ‘the blue’ in this case means the sky.
So, let’s define the expression ‘out of the blue’. I wonder if you guys have heard this. Something happens out of the blue, right. If it’s… just appears out of the blue. What could that mean?
‘Out of the blue’ means out of nowhere, to appear unexpectedly or surprisingly, you know. You’re not expecting that thing to happen or to appear. It is appearing out of the blue. It’s appearing out of nowhere.
So, ‘the blue’ in this case refers to the sky, the blue sky, as we said, and usually, thunderstorms with, you know, thunder and lightning, don’t tend to happen when there’s a clear blue sky. But when it does happen, it’s a surprise that no one expects, it’s unexpected, it’s surprising. And apparently an older version of this expression was ‘a bolt out of the blue’ or ‘a bolt from the blue’, which referred to a completely unexpected and surprising appearance of a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky, right, out of nowhere.
So, we can use this literally, if someone, say, appears in front of you. They appear out of nowhere. You know, it’s shocking, it’s surprising, unexpected. But we can use it to for things that people say or maybe emotions, you know, non-physical things, right. So, if someone suddenly says something or burps or yawns or, you know, does something like that where you could say, oh, that was out of the blue. You know, I got upset and it was out of the blue.
So, let’s go through some examples, guys, to try and show you how I would use this expression in my day-to-day life. Okay.
So, example number one. Imagine that you are going to the beach with your mates. You’re about to hit the beach. You want to go for a surf or a body board or a body surf or maybe just a cheeky dip in the ocean at your favourite beach, your favourite Australian beach, maybe Bondi Beach or Bell’s Beach down here where Rip Curl Pro is often held each year, the surfing competition. So, you all dive into it. You pile out of the car when you get to the beach. You put your wettie is on, or maybe you’re wearing board shorts, you put your boardies on, your grab your boards and you dive into the water to catch a first wave. The waves are about six foot. It’s incredibly clean, you know, it’s not choppy, it’s not… the water’s not rough, there’s an offshore wind as well making the waves perfect, and you and your mates are carving it up each time you catch one of these incoming waves. When all of a sudden, out of the blue, one of your mates spots a large fin pop above the surface of the water a few metres away. Now, you all panic, you all frantically start swimming to shore and fear the worst. You think, oh no, it’s going to be a shark and it’s going to ruin our awesome day. But it turns out to be a lone dolphin who wants to join your ranks to catch a wave or two itself. So, it just appeared out of the blue, unexpectedly, out of nowhere.
Example number two. You’re at home on a weekend and you plan on binge watching your favorite TV show, right. I was doing this recently watching The Walking Dead. So, you’ve got to drink out of the fridge, you know, your favorite beer, your favorite soft drink, you’ve got some chips or your favorite snack, and you’ve kicked back on the couch and you’ve put the first episode on. So, you get through most of the show, but the tension starts to build, the show starts to climax, there’s a bit of suspense, something big is about to happen in the show when all of a sudden, out of the blue, the power goes off, the TV screen goes black. You might scream out, no! I wanted to see what was going to happen. You’ll lose it, you get upset, because you can’t see what was about to happen on the show, because out of the blue, unexpectedly, surprisingly, out of nowhere, the power went out.
Example number three. You’re at home one day cleaning the house after your kids have been playing and they’ve made a bit of a mess of the place, right. They’d been mucking around with finger-paint or food or something. They’ve made a mess. So, you’re busy cleaning away, when all of a sudden, the doorbell goes or someone knocks on the door. So, you go and open it up and it turns out that it’s a long-lost friend who you haven’t seen since you were at school, you know, maybe 20 years ago. So, you might say, Wow! How did you know I was here? That’s so out of the blue. Where did you come from? I haven’t seen you in yonks. I haven’t seen you in donkey’s years. I haven’t seen you in ages. But what an awesome surprise. It’s great to see you even if it is randomly and out of the blue.
So, hopefully guys you understand the expression now ‘out of the blue’. It is for something to appear physically or figuratively out of nowhere, unexpectedly, surprisingly.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise where you guys can practice your pronunciation. You can work on your Australian accent if that is something that you are trying to master at the moment. Listen and repeat after me. Or work on the accent that you are currently targeting, you know, British, US, whatever it is, and say these words with that accent. Let’s go.
Out of the
Out of the blue x 5
It’s pretty interesting, actually. There’s quite a bit of pronunciation and connected speech modifying there when I say those words by themselves or when I say them together, right. Out, out of, out of the, out of the blue. That’s interesting.
Anyway, we’ll go over that more in the Aussie English Classroom pronunciation video for this episode, guys. Remember to sign up to that if you are interested in improving your English and improving your pronunciation. TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Oh! And I almost forgot, we’ll go through a sentence and now we will conjugate through, ‘I appeared out of the blue’, ‘you appeared out of the blue’. Okay, so listen and repeat after me.
I appeared out of the blue
You appeared out of the blue
He appeared out of the blue
She appeared out of the blue
We appeared out of the blue
They appeared out of the blue
It appeared out of the blue
Man, there’s a lot of t-flaps going on there. ‘It appeared out of the blue’.
Alright. Aussie English Fact for the day, guys. So, sharks. I wanted to talk about shark attacks as they tend to occur out of the blue, right, and they’re a common occurrence in Australia, at least the media would have you believe this. It tends to always be one on the on the TV every week or two, you hear about a shark attack. And then I want to talk about shark culling, okay? And this is a hot topic that pollies, politicians, are always yacking about on the telly as well.
Alright, so unsurprisingly shark attacks have been happening in Australia since the first humans arrived here nearly 50,000 or 60,000 years ago when they first surrendered to the enticing ocean waters that surrounded the continent. The earliest shark attack that was fatal that’s on record occurred in the early years of British colonisation in Port Jackson where an Aboriginal woman was swimming and she was, quote, “bitten in two” by a shark.
Between the years of 1958 and 2018, there have been 536 shark attacks in Australia, and we are number two on the list of shark attacks in the world. 73 of these shark attacks proved to be fatal to the victims. Australia comes in at number two with the US at number one with more than double the number of shark attacks at 1104. But despite this, there are actually twice as many deaths in Australia as there are in the US who recorded only 35 fatalities in the same period of time. Interesting. It seems that, statistically speaking, in Australia you have the highest chance of being attacked and killed by a shark than anywhere else in the world.
If you’re interested in taking your chances at the most dangerous beach in Australia, then I suggest heading off to Coffin Bay in South Australia whose name seems appropriate, although, there may not be enough of you left to warrant using a coffin.
Although, shark attacks often receive a lot of air time on national and state news, you’re far more likely to be killed by a bunch of other less-suspecting and cute and cuddly animals Down Under.
In 2011, Australia’s National Coronial Information System, or NCIS, released its first report into the trends and patterns surrounding animal-related deaths in Australia where they evaluated the first decade of this century from the years 2000 to 2010. The report discovered that horses, including ponies and donkeys, were Australia’s most deadly animal causing 77 deaths in a 10-year period. So, 7.7 deaths a year.
Next on the list of cute and cuddly but more likely to kill you than a shark were cows, including bulls and cattle, which accounted for 33 deaths, 16 of which, interestingly enough, were during motor vehicle accidents. So, to any cows listening, get off the bloody road!
Number three on the list was man’s best friend, dogs, who killed 27 people from attacks most of which were children under the age of four and the elderly.
And the final unsuspecting death bringer to humans on this list before sharks is the iconic and much beloved Australian kangaroo, which accounted for 18 deaths, albeit, indirectly, through motor vehicle accidents. So, again, Skippy, get off the road!
Place five and six was a tie with bees and sharks both accounting for 16 deaths in a 10-year period. So, 1.6 deaths per year. So, there you go.
Next time you’re second guessing taking a dip at Bondi Beach for fear of being devoured by the tooth-filled gnashing jaws of a shark, remember, that you’re much more likely to die from animals like horses, cows, kangaroos, dogs, and even bees than you are sharks.
So, why do sharks attack humans? Are they hunting us like the movie Jaws famously depicts? The answer is definitely no. Feeding is not the reason that sharks attack humans. In fact, humans don’t provide enough high-fat meat for sharks, which need a lot of energy to power their large muscular bodies. Sharks are just inquisitive animals and have no hands to explore the world around them and these unknown objects that they might stumble across bobbing around in the ocean. Therefore, they’re left with a jaw full of razor-sharp teeth to satiate their curiosity and explore any objects they may come across. Unfortunately, for us though, one simple exploratory nip from a large shark is usually a grievous and life-threatening injury to any human when coming from a great white, a tiger, or a bull shark, the three sharks that are the most common culprits for human fatalities.
Unfortunately, beach-loving Australians are insistent on partaking in one of their favorite pastimes, their favourite hobbies, enjoying the beaches and oceans around the country. And shark attacks often cause hysteria in the media and are quickly commandeered by politicians looking to gain favour and win votes by stirring up fear and promising easy solutions.
This is where the contentious issue of shark nets and drum lines come into play in Australia. Shark nets are often placed in the water to prevent sharks entering certain beaches, but they are criticised by environmentalists and conservationists alike who claim that these nets are extremely destructive to marine life and often harm or even kill sharks, which are an important part of a healthy marine ecosystem.
Drum lines are unmanned aquatic traps used to lure, capture, and kill large sharks using baited hooks connected to floating drums that indiscriminately kill any shark curious enough to take a bite of the bait. They’re often deployed in locations after an attack in the hopes of catching the perpetrating shark that attacked a human or at least reducing the numbers of big sharks in the area. However, like shark nets, drum lines have been heavily criticised as being ineffective, cruel, unethical, non-scientific, and environmentally destructive. One analogy I saw was if a tradie murdered one person and then disappeared, would killing five other Australian tradies at random make Australia safer?
So, finishing up, every time you decide to take a dip in the ocean you’re obviously at risk of a shark attack. True. But you’re much more likely to die from things like kangaroos and horses in car accidents than you are from a shark. So, just be safe, be smart, and if you want to bring your risk to 0%, stay out of the water. Simple as that.
Anyway, guys thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure when you guys join me and listen to these episodes. I know that they’re helping a lot of people. You get back to me, you send me emails, you send me comments on Instagram, on Facebook, and it means a lot to me, guys, and I’ll want to give you a big, big, big thank you from both me and Kel to everyone who gave us their well-wishes and congratulations after the wedding. That really meant a lot to both of us. So, thank you so much, guys, and we were so happy to be able to share that experience with you as well on Instagram and on YouTube.
So, that’s it for this week guys. I hope you enjoy the episode. I hope to see you in the Aussie English Classroom and I will chat to you very soon. See you, guys.
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By Admin — 9 months ago
Learn Australian English in this vlog episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I go for a walk with my furry mate Leo (he destroyed my phone) and grab a cup of coffee whilst showing you a bit of Australia!
AE 438 – Vlog: He Destroyed My Phone – Part 2
G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I am your host Pete and I am here to help you level up your Australian English or just English in general.
So, this is part two of a two-part series, guys. If you haven’t seen the first part, click the card above should be there, or there, or there.
So, in today’s episode, I am heading to get coffee. I’m taking my mate Leo for a bit of a walk. Seeing what we find along the way and teaching you guys English as well as showing you Australia whilst I do so.
So, sit back relax grab a cuppa and let’s enjoy this episode of watching me get a cuppa… cup of coffee. Let’s go.
Your body and your mind. One, two, three. Bounce.
Calm your farm, mate. This guy wants coffee nearly as badly as I do. Canberra bus stop, guys, cutest bus stops in Australia, and that’s a cockatoo.
We’re getting closer, guys. Coffee! Oh, man, this is so awesome, guys. This is so awesome. I have never seen this in Australia before.
So, I’ve seen signs with kangaroos, with koalas, with wombats, with deer, with camels, all sorts of signs, but I have never seen one with ducks on it.
That is amazing. And it’s because there is a big, big, big pond behind us over here where I imagine there are a lot of ducks with ducklings crossing the road here. That’s crazy.
Mohawk pigeon. Check out his little mohawk! He’s so epic. Well, on second thoughts the jumper was definitely overkill.
It is very warm now that we’ve been walking around for about half an hour filming and coming to this beautiful little…I guess, dam, lake? It’s tiny. It can’t be a lake. But look at that, guys. It’s lovely.
Well, apparently, we can’t swim, but I guess you’re right. Look at that! So, unfair.
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That was a Sulphur-crested cockatoo, guys, and yes, it does sound like it’s dying when its making its call. Let’s have another listen, but this time I’ll slow it down.
It sounds like what I would imagine T-Rex to sound like. Dr. Grant? Oh, man! Jurassic Park was such a bad-arse film.
Spiders! Let’s see if I can line this up for you, guys. These are spiders that… they grab at like a leaf out of a tree or off the ground and then they string it up in their web, they wrap it up, sew it together, and then they sit in it as if they’re not there whilst in their web. So, it’s like camouflage. Pretty cool. And then as soon as any unsuspecting insect falls into the web, bam!, they pounce.
Finally, coffee time! You pumped? You excited? How’s it going, dude? Can I please just grab a large… Cap? …Cappuccino. Yeah, that’s it. Sugar? Nah, all good. Thanks though. $4. No worries, mate. Just on card thanks. Cheers. So, missed the busy part, huh? Yes, although, we were really busy yesterday, not so busy today. Yeah. Does this guy need to wait outside? Nah, he’s alright. Hello puppy. Have you just had a haircut? He’s a bit of a pest. Alright, you’ve got to not poo inside or we get chucked out.
Leo! Leo! Are you excited for coffee, mate? That’s us, Leo. Where is it? Where is it? That’s us! Leo! Leo! That’s us right here, mate!
I found something pretty cool that I want to show you guys. Can you see it? It’s a black swan. So, in Australia we don’t have white swans as people in America or… I think, Canada, or is it just Europe? But normally white swans are European thing.
And here… Oh! Damn dog! Here we have black swans, beautiful black swans, and this guy definitely wants to go and say hello.
So, I reckon these guys are usually fed here, ’cause they do not seem to be that afraid of me. Let’s check out this behemoth. This huge swan. Look at him. Hello. See how close we can get without him raging up or running away. What a beautiful, beautiful little guy. Not phased. Doesn’t care. Let’s see if we can sneak a little bit closer. Wow! Oh, and you’ve got a friend. Amazing. Hello!
Oh my God. This is incredible, guys. I’m right at the water’s edge and I would imagine that these guys are being fed here, although, this guy’s feeding himself. But this one, look at this! I could literally reach out and touch him. Absolutely beautiful.
And these ducks as well. He’s thinking, “There’s no food here!”. Back up. Back up. Any food?
Could you make some more noise, mate? Could you make some more noise? What are you doing? What’s your issue? Jesus! Separation anxiety or something, huh? I was like five metres away. Calm your farm, mate. Calm your farm.
So, this has been my birthday, chilling out with these guys in the background, and this pest.
Tough guy. Very tough. Look at you! You should just hide behind this rock mate. They are not afraid of you. So, tough.
Right, so, obviously the jumper was a bad idea, and I have to tie it around my neck. So, that I can free my hands up and walk the dog, not drop the screen or the camera for another time. But I thought of an expression to teach you guys and it makes sense right now.
So, we were walking pretty close to the road here and I don’t trust this little guy. He’s a bit… He just runs everywhere without thinking.
So, I’ve kept him on a short leash, right? So, as opposed to ‘a long leash’, the leash is very short. This’s an expression that you can use in English when a… I guess, someone in charge of someone else keeps a close eye on them or keeps them under control, they keep the person on a short leash. Okay?
So, it could be literal if you have a leash on… Well, probably not a person. That’d be weird. It could be literal using it on the dog, but it could also be figurative where you’re controlling someone, keeping an eye on them, you’re keeping them under control, you’re keeping them on a short leash.
I have to show you this trick. This is how I get him in, okay? So, I put this on unlock, and then I… Got you now, mate! And I’ll let you go.
So, I’ve a feeling that all the streets around here are named after things or lines in Banjo Patterson’s, Waltzing Matilda. Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong. Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong.
So, if you haven’t got poem out or that song out, definitely check it out. The best part about walking the dog is not the actual walk. It’s the result of the walk.
Alright, guys. Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you learned a heap of new vocab. And yeah, it’s a shame about the camera screen, but sometimes shit happens and you’ve got to crack a few eggs if you want to make an omelet.
Anyway, don’t forget to hit that ‘Subscribe’ button, guys. Make sure that you smash that bell icon as well so that you stay up to date with all the future videos coming out, and make sure that you comment below and let me know, when’s your birthday? What month?
That’s all from me today, guys. I hope you have a splendid day and I’ll tell you soon. See ya!
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