Friday, 25 January 2013

Australia Day - what happens and why

It is Australia Day this weekend and Australians will be enjoying the long weekend but also all the free entertainment in every state including marches, aerial displays, musicians and performers and especially the fireworks. In every state there will be citizenship ceremonies and reflection on how lucky we all are to be here. Australia is a surprising nation which punches above its weight in so many ways. Most of the world would acknowledge Australia is a nation where our sporting achievers stand alongside the best but few know that Australians are also renowned inventors. In fact, Australians have been inventing things for thousands of years including the aboriginal invention of the woomera which gave spears extra thrust. Few would know that Edward Sutton from Ballarat , invented a number of ‘firsts ‘including a device in the 1880s which was an early form of television , the telfane, and able to transmit the running of the Melbourne Cup to Ballarat thirty five years before Baird declared his invention.. Sutton also assisted the Australian navy with radio transmission some months before Marconi, invented types of telephone and vacuum pumps.  Other Australian inventors came up with all sorts of things including: the black box flight recorder, mechanical sheep sheers, ultrasound, the electronic pacemaker, the bionic ear, multifocal contact lenses, spray on skin, the surf ski, powered flight and the baby capsule now used to take babies in cars. Australia also produced the first feature film “The History of the Kelly Gang”. The list could go on and on.  All countries have their inventors but Australians are renowned for being creative and the Australian education system encourages that creativity. When you think of it, there is a fair bit to celebrate on Australia Day!

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