Happy Australia Day to everyone! What a great day of celebration, with 'pavs', lamingtons, 'slip'n'slides' and counting down Triple J's Hottest 100. Back in 1964, Donald Horne published a book titled 'The Lucky Country' in his tribute to the amazing country that is Australia. How true he was! What better way to rejoice our beautiful country than a list of 10 reasons why Australia is the Luckiest Country in the World.
1 - Beaches
The best beaches in the world are in Australia. Whitehaven, Bondi, Cable, Byron Bay, Wineglass Bay, the list goes on... I think the more you travel the world, even to idyllic places as Thailand or Fiji, the more you realise Australia truly does have the whitest, sandiest and clear-watered beaches in the world.
2 - Fauna
Cuddly koalas (or 'drop bears'), kangaroos and emus. Australia is famous for its strange and unique animals. These are animals that can't be found anywhere else in the world. Our zoos feature some of the most diverse and endangered species such as the echidna, wombat, platypus and bilby. It is also home to around 70% of the world's marsupials, animals who give birth to their babies early to finish their development in the mother's pouch.
3 - Flora
Like Australia's fauna, its flora is also unique and exclusive to this beautiful land. There are a staggering 24,000 native species of plants. To compare this expanse to England, they have only 1700 native plants. Some of our most common include banksias, eucalypts and grevilleas.
4 - Multiculturalism
Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world and we should celebrate this. This diversity of cultures presents such an opportunity for learning and empathy.
5 - Weather
Whilst the weather can be completely unpredictable in this crazy country, most of the time the sun is shining and the weather is warm, especially in sunny Queensland. Every day is a good day for the beach!
6 - Mateship
Speaking of unpredictable weather, mother nature can sometimes throw at us floods, cyclones and bushfires. We would not be able to bounce back from such events so quickly if it weren't for the inherent mateship of the Australian public. I remember back in 2011 when there was a terrible flood in Brisbane. After the floods had subsided, everyone who wasn't affected by this tragedy was out on the streets helping those who were struggling. The council even arranged buses to pick up volunteers and take them to the flood affected areas to help.
7 - Sport
Australia hosts a number of Australian and international sporting events every year. Iconic events include State of Origin (my personal favourite), the Australian Open, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Cricket World Cup. In 2018 we will even be hosting the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast. Can't wait!
8 - Music
Our homegrown heroes dominate both the Australian and international charts. We are lucky enough to claim ACDC, Cold Chisel, INXS, Vance Joy and Sia as our own. We also have some of the best international stars tour extensively in the land downunder like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeren and Pink.
9 - Food
What does the menu look like for Australia Day? Lamington, pavlovas, Vegemite, shrimp on the barbie, mangoes, lamb, meat pies, Tim Tams, snags, ANZAC biscuits, damper, macadamia nuts, Weet-Bix, fairy bread and a hamburger with beetroot. Enough said.
10 - Freedom
Australia is as free as a country can be and this is the fundamental thing that makes us the luckiest out of all. We are free from persecution, free to travel as we wish, free to feel safe in our own homes and free to express ourselves according to our various beliefs. Australia = Freedom and this is the biggest celebration of all!