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Australia Day

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My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
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!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
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Famous Australia Poem by Dorothea Mackellar

10 Iconic Foods To Celebrate This AUSTRALIA DAY

australia day iconic food

1. Lamington.

The lamington is certainly one of Australia’s edible national symbols; there’s even a National Lamington Day on July 21. Sometimes it even comes in two halves with a layer of jam and cream in the middle, making it the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea or coffee. The lamington was invented more than a century ago and named after Queensland’s governor at the time, Lord Lamington. Exactly who whipped together the first recipe is still up for debate, with both Toowoomba and Ipswich claiming to be the lamington’s birthplace.

2. Meat pie.

They’re a staple at sporting events and parties and the cause of many a burnt tongue — the humble meat pie is Australia. The meat pie hit our shores at the same time as the First Fleet, and by 1891 George Sargent was commercially producing them in Sydney. And while there’s plenty of gourmet varieties now on the market, it is hard to go past the old-school flaky pastry containing diced or minced meat with gravy.

3. Vegemite.

Love it or hate it, after 90 years Vegemite is still an Australian breakfast favourite. Spread on toast, bread or crackers, or even added to casseroles or layered in cheesy scrolls, the black, salty paste sure is versatile. Chemist Cyril Callister created the vitamin B spread from brewer’s yeast in 1922 for the Fred Walker Company and called it Pure Vegetable Extract. A national competition saw it labelled Vegemite and it hit the shelves in October 1923. The Happy Little Vegemites jingle hit radio airwaves in 1954 and resonates with many Australians to this day, so much so we buy more than 22 million jars of the spread every year.

4. Pavlova.

Both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented Pavlova in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited both countries in the 1920s. Either way, the meringuebased dessert is one of Australia’s premier sweet treats. With its crisp crust and soft, light centre, decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit, it is hard to go past fresh Pavlova at any gathering.

5. Tim Tam.

Two chocolate biscuits filled with a chocolate cream centre and covered in more chocolate — these biscuits aren’t good for anyone watching their waistline. Invented by Arnott’s Ian Norris and named by Ross Arnott after the horse that won the 1958 Kentucky Derby, Tim Tams first hit our shelves in 1964. Since then there have been many varieties of Tim Tams and our love of this choc bikkie has only grown, with more than 45 million packets sold in Australia each year.

6. Anzac biscuit.

They’re a big part of the Anzac tradition and commemorations, but the 10 Iconic Foods To Celebrate This AUSTRALIA DAY FOOD, WINE & GOOD TIMES ISSUE 105 | 17th January 2020 21 sweet chewy (or crispy) biscuits we know and love weren’t actually eaten by troops at Gallipoli. The legend goes that they were sent to troops on the Western Front because they had a long shelf life. But according to the Australian War Memorial, the biscuit is often confused with a soldier’s ration staple called the hardtack biscuit, sometimes known as Anzac tiles or Anzac wafer biscuits. The much sweeter and softer Anzac biscuits we enjoy today came along later in the war and were sold at fetes and public events to raise money for the military effort.

7. Chiko roll.

The true home of the Chiko roll has long been debated. Is it Wagga Wagga, Bathurst or Bendigo? The savoury snack was developed by Bendigo boilermaker Frank McEncroe in competition to the Chinese spring roll that was being sold at football matches. It made its first appearance at the Wagga Wagga Agriculture Show in 1951 as the Chicken Roll, despite not actually containing chicken. Food Company Simplot now manufactures Chiko rolls in Bathurst, and the deep-fried snack remains commonplace on menus in fish-and-chip and takeaway shops across Australia.

8. Sausage sandwich

There’s nothing more Australian than getting together for a barbecue with family and friends. And every good barbie offers a sausage sanga — a sausage on bread with a squirt of tomato sauce. Of course, you could upgrade and add onion, different sauces, crusty bread rolls or even break away from a traditional beef or pork snag and try a fancy gourmet sausage. Sausage sizzles have become a staple of work functions, birthday parties and fundraisers — we just can’t walk past the appetising smell of a barbecuing snag.

9. Weet-Bix

“Aussie kids are Weet-Bix kids.” As the song suggests, many of us grew up eating this flaked cereal biscuit with milk for breakfast. Whether it’s with warm or cold milk, covered in honey or sugar, or even eaten dry with jam or Vegemite, there’s certainly plenty of ways to enjoy Weet-Bix. It was developed by Bennison Osborne for Grain Products in the early 1920s as competition to the popular Granose, a wheat biscuit marketed by Sanitarium at the time. Osborne added small amounts of sugar and malt to his cereal biscuits to make them more palatable and they soon became a best-selling breakfast cereal.

10. Burger with the lot

The traditional hamburger may be an American thing, but the Aussies have made the “burger with the lot” their own by adding some true blue flavours. Layering sliced pineapple, beetroot, egg and bacon on top of a meat pattie, cheese and salad on a bun creates a true “works burger”. And the best ones leave burger juice running down your arms as you get your mouth around the enormous taste sensation.

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