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Australia Day or Invasion Day

Today is our National Holiday.  A day to remember what it means to be Australian, or to remember our past.  The date, 26th of January is the day the First Fleet arrived at Sydney, as it was to become known.  For the indigenous population it is known as invasion day, the day their land was taken away from them and their lives were changed irrevocably.

It is a strange day and I often wonder why that date was chosen, out of all the the dates they could have used.  To me the most sensible date would the 1st of January, Federation, the day that Australia became a nation.  Perhaps we should push to change it.  It would be better for so many people because it doesn’t necessarily mean bad things for everyone.

So I am up here in Woomelang and I wondered what I could put up that would say “Australia”.  I mean nothing really does as nearly everything has been imported, well except for the indigenous plants and wildlife.  I thought I would show some images of things that are said to have been been very important in the development of Australia.

Sheep.  Australia is proud of its history of the rural image of sheep and wool.  Built on the back of a sheep, or something like that, so the saying goes.  Just looked it up, the saying is “Australia Rode on the Sheep’s back”.  Apparently we had more sheep than any other country and people here made a lot of money from sheep.

Sheep are shy and will run away from people.  So that is what they are doing.  I liked this image, the vastness of the landscape and the sheep.  This is the other end of the paddock that the sheep in the previous image were in.  The paddock they are in would have had wheat, but has since been stripped.

When I was kid and we were driving around these places to find the next town we always looked for the silos of the next town in the distance.  When we saw them we would start yelling, “I can see the silos, I can see the silos.”  It was a bit of a competition to see who would see them first.  I hope you can see the silos as well.

Wheat has also been very important to the development of Australia and views like this can been see all over the place.  I should point out that the wheat has been harvested and all that is left is the stubble.

The Australian countryside, or at least the ones that apparently “made Australia” look a lot like these images.  Apparently Sheep and Wheat have been really important to the history of us.  It is quite amazing that we always think of our past as being stuck firmly in the rural landscape.  However the statistics of our population show that Australia has always been a very urbanised country.  Apparently around the 1880’s 70% or thereabouts of Australia’s population lived in the cities.  So our perceived past does not seem to match our real past.

I did consider putting up some photos of the beach, seeing that is what many people think of doing today, or having barbecues, but I decided to take some new photos showing more of out past, I hope you didn’t mind.

Some information about the photos, all the images, except the third one, with the silos, are HDR images, I hand held all them, though I think they may have been better if I wasn’t being lazy.  The light was getting too strong and I needed to get them done.  The third one wouldn’t work with hdr, the wind was blowing me around too much, so I had to edit the image the old fashioned way.

Happy Australia Day,

Or Happy Invasion Day, can you put the word happy in front of Invasion?

  1. Liz #

    I really like these shots – it is interesting how much of our national identity revolves around a lifestyle that very few people experience. I also find it quite ironic in the current political landscape that our national day is essentially a celebration of immigration – that of the Brits to our shores. Perhaps one day we’ll celebrate the arrival of not just the Brits….

    January 26, 2012
    • I’m not sure I would hold my breath waiting for that to happen, it is like we want the immigrants, but we don’t want to recognise them . It is strange too how many see it as a celebration of migration to Australia because they left somewhere terrible, but they don’t consider how terrible our migration to this country has been for the Australian Aborigines, and as I found out today, some people refuse to acknowledge it and believe they should celebrate it because they are here now. Sad really.

      January 26, 2012
  2. Hahaha…. sounds funny – Happy Invasion day!!!! 😉 Really like the one where the sheep are running away… 🙂 **

    January 26, 2012
    • It does sound strange, but it is a great way to acknowledge the past and to realise that the first fleets arrival to these shores was not fantastic. So Happy Invasion day to you too. 🙂
      Don’t you hate when your subject won’t stand still and be photographed.

      January 26, 2012
      • I do……. super frustrating!!!! But sometimes one is lucky and despite the ‘refusing-to-stand-still’ subjects, you get a shot like this!!! 🙂 **

        January 26, 2012
  3. I have to tell you, that last shot looks like Texas or Oklahoma in the US. Fields of wheat, barbed-wire fence with weathered posts, and trees in the distance along what is most likely a natural pond or stream (Even if there’s no water there in the heat of summer).
    Of course, the critters would be cattle, not sheep if it were in the US!

    January 26, 2012
    • I can imagine it would be like a scene there too. Though the trees probably don’t have any water hole or stream, just some trees that were left there from first settlement. They cleared nearly all the trees, but left some. Of course clearing all the trees has created a whole new problem with erosion, I should stop.
      I would imagine the trees would be different as well.
      Our countries are very similar in many ways.

      January 27, 2012
  4. Thank you for sharing your world. Your sheep are cleaner than my sheep lol.

    January 27, 2012
    • Haha, I don’t know about that, but maybe they just look cleaner because they have just been sheared, no idea what they call it in past tense. There hasn’t been any rain here for a few weeks so no opportunity to get muddy.

      January 27, 2012

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