Thursday, 30 August 2007

Mateship - the Aussie Test!

Hmm, don’t the Aussies have a wonderful way with words? Fair dinkum, no worries, g’day mate and all that – and now the concept of ‘Mateship’ and a thing called a ‘Citizenship test’ to encourage immigrants to better integrate into the Aussie society and culture – I think we could do with some of that here in England, don’t you?

So here especially for our very good friends in the Bandicoots Trivia Quiz Team at the Pittwater RSL Club are some teasers to get their teeth into before we arrive in a couple of months! Oh and maybe our (Aussie) son and daughter-in-law could have a go too!! No cheating now!


1. Who was the Father of Federation?

2. What were the real reasons the Australian colonies decided to become a federation?

a. What was New Zealand’s status before Australian federation?

3. List all the Prime Ministers of Australia in order, with their years in office.

4. What does Australia Day celebrate?

a. When was the first Australia Day?

b. What happened on the first Australia Day?

5. Who was Chips Rafferty?

a. Was he really gay?

6. Which was the only Australian State not to receive convicts?

7. Name the complete Australian Ashes Test squad from the 1948 England tour.

a. What was the team’s nickname?

8. How far is it from Sydney to Melbourne (to the nearest 10km)

9. What was the basis for the Crown to assume ownership of Australia?

a. What did it mean?

b. Was it correct?

10. Why can the Australian Prime Minister or Parliament not apologise to its indigenous peoples?

11. Were there ever any massacres (or mass killings) of indigenous people in Australia?

12. Did anyone ever take unwilling Aboriginal children from their families?

a. If they had, what would the institutions have been called which carried out these operations (if any)?

b. Did they live up to their name?

13. What has always been the general legal presumption in the Australian justice system if someone is accused of or charged with a crime?

14. According to recently proclaimed Australian laws, what is the basis upon which suspected terrorists are held?

a. What does this mean for justice in Australia and for ordinary, law-abiding Australian citizens?

15. What does the Government presume, and say, about David Hicks?

16. Habeas corpus is a fundamental of the Australian legal system. What does it mean?

17. When is Federation Day?

a. What year was the first Federation Day?

18. What is the correct spelling? “Color”, or “Colour”?

19. Two famous Australians travelled on the 1908-9 Shackleton expedition to which continent?

a. Who were they?

b. Together, they were the first to achieve which two feats?

c. Which of them is/was on the $100 note?

d. The other had an avenue named after him in Sydney. What is its name and in which suburb is it?

20. After whom is the mineral “davidite” named?

21. Who was the skipper of the first Australian yacht to win the America’s Cup?

a. Who was the designer?

b. What was the name of the boat?

c. In what year did it win?

d. What did the Prime Minister of the day famously say when the boat won?

e. What was the Prime Minister’s name?

22. Have there ever been Jewish Governors General of Australia?

a. If your answer is yes, what was their name(s) and in what years did he/she/they “govern”?

23. Has there ever been a female Governor General?

a. If your answer is yes, what was their name(s) and in what years did she/they “govern”?

24. Has Australia ever had a homosexual Prime Minister or state Premier?

a. If your answer is yes, what was/were their name(s)?

b. Of which State(s) etc.?

25. After what or whom is Bennelong Point named?

a. Where is Bennelong Point?

b. What is at Bennelong Point now?

26. Who was Pemulwuy?

a. What happened to him?

27. Who cut the ribbon when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened?

a. Why?

28. What disaster happened to Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge?

29. In what month and year did a ship collapse the Tasman Bridge?

a. What was the name of the ship?

b. Where was the bridge?

30. What does DLP stand for?

31. Who was the most famous member of the DLP for most of its history?

32. What was Australia’s greatest constitutional crisis?

a. In what year did it occur?

b. Who was Prime Minister?

c. Who was the Governor General?

d. Who became the next Prime Minister?

e. Which national media icon was on the steps of Parliament House at the culmination of the crisis?

f. What was Joh Bjelke Petersen’s role in the crisis?

g. What convention did he break?

h. What was the name of the Senator whose offer of a diplomatic posting precipitated the crisis?

i. From which party did he come?

j. Where was he posted?

33. What sort of creatures populate the island off Perth, WA?

a. What is the name of the island?

34. What is the constitutional status of the Northern Territory?

35. Who was the first female Justice of the High Court Australia?

36. When did Papua New Guinea become independent?

a. Who was its first Prime Minister?

37. Who called Australia “The Lucky Country”?

a. What did he mean?

38. In what year did Australia first host the Olympic Games?

a. In what city?

39. In which year and in what city did the world welcome “Matilda” as the mascot for the Commonwealth Games?

a. What was she?

b. How big was she?

c. What did she famously do?

40. For how many years was Robert Menzies Prime Minister?

a. From when to when?

41. Where was the Eureka Stockade?

a. What was it about?

b. When did it happen?

42. When did Aboriginal people gain the right to vote?

43. When was the legislation passed to include Aboriginal people on the Census?

44. Australian indigenous dot painting is world famous. Where did the movement begin?

a. When?

b. Name the person who initiated the movement as a community and economic enterprise.

45. Who was Australia’s most famous Aboriginal Artist before this?

a. Where did he come from?

b. What language is spoken in that country?

46. Who went to prison for planting a bomb in a rubbish bin outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney but subsequently had his conviction quashed?

a. What year?

b. What was happening at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney, at the time?

c. Of what religious sect was he a member?

d. On whose evidence was he convicted in the first place?

47. What were Ned Kelly’s famous last words?

48. Who wrote a book with those words as its title?

a. What was his real name?

49. Who was Xavier Herbert?

50. What, and in what year, was the Petrov Affair?

51. In which year did Australia first fight a war as a nation?

a. Against whom?

52. In Australia’s early years, what was the main form of personal transport?

a. What was the main form of bulk transport?

53. What is the Australian standard gauge for railways?

a. How many different gauges were there before standardisation?

b. What were they?

c. In what year did the first service operate from Sydney to Melbourne without changing gauges?

d. What was the name of the service?

54. Where was the origin of the most important breed of sheep in Australia?

a. Who imported them?

b. Where can the descendants of the first flock be found?

55. What did Paul Hogan do before he became a movie star?

a. What brand of cigarettes did he advertise?

b. To what tune?

c. What was the slogan?

56. Who was the whistler in the advertising campaign for Cambridge cigarettes?

57. Before cigarette advertising was banned on Australian television, an announcement was made at the conclusion of each advertisement. What was it?

a. Who spoke it?

b. In what popular TV serial did he appear?

c. On which network?

d. What character did he play?

e. How did the character infamously die?

58. When was cigarette advertising banned on television?

59. Who wrote the advertising campaign whose catch phrase was “Where do you get it?”

a. Which radio stations does he now own?

b. Who is his most famous employee?

c. What is the name of the book which explores this employee’s homosexuality?

60. What is the name of the most famous Australian movie about transvestites?

a. Who is Australia’s most famous operatic soprano?

b. Who is the second most famous?

c. What dish was named after her?

61. Which two nations claim to have invented the pavlova?

a. In honour of whom was it invented?

b. On what occasion?

62. What disease was the first attempt to eradicate the rabbit in Australia?

a. What was the second?

b. Where was it first released?

c. Why?

63. Which organisation released sparrows and starlings into Australia?

a. Why?

64. Why was the cane toad introduced into Australia?

65. What is the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act??

a. When was it promulgated?

b. By whom [Prime Minister]?

66. What is the constitutional principle on which the Federal Government halted the proposed damming of the Gordon below Franklin Rivers in Tasmania?

a. When was the proposed damming stopped?

b. Which famous international TV naturalist joined the protest against the dam?

67. Where is the Ord River?

a. What was the Ord River Scheme?

68. What does QANTAS stand for?

a. Who founded QANTAS?

b. From where to where was the first commercial QANTAS service?

69. What is the full name of Sydney Airport?

a. After whom was it named?

b. For what was he/ she famous?

70. What does WACA stand for?

a. What does “The Gabba” stand for?

71. What does FNQ stand for?

72. What do the following have in common? Cambridge, Archerfield, Jandakot, Parafield?

73. What percentage of Australians are indigenous?

74. What was the White Australia Policy?

a. When did it end?

75. Who was Arthur Calwell?

a. Who shot him?

b. Where?

c. Why?

d. What were Calwell’s injuries?

76. When was the first modern terrorist bombing in Australia?

a. By whom was it carried out?

b. Against whom?

c. Where?

77. People from how many countries have made their homes Australia?

78. Have atomic or nuclear weapons ever been detonated in Australia?

a. If so, by whom?

b. How many?

c. What were the long-term consequences?

79. What was the name of the control centre for post WWII rocket testing on behalf of the British Government?

a. What people lived in the area?

b. What happened to them?

80. What happened at Maralinga?

81. Where is Pine Gap?

a. To what extent is Pine Gap an example of Australia/US cooperation?

b. What do they do there?

c. Why not?

d. What access does Australia have to the results?

e. Why not?

82. Who first climbed and named Mount Kosciuszko?

a. When?

b. What range is named after him?

c. Where is it?

d. What nationality was he?

e. Why did he leave that country?

f. Who was Kosciuszko?

g. What was his full name?

h. What is the correct pronunciation of his surname?

83. What was the Cowra Uprising?

84. What did Bec do before she married Lleyton?

85. What was Kylie’s first movie role?

a. What was the film’s title?

b. What was her name in Neighbours?

c. List all her boyfriends from Jason to Olivier.

86. What is Molly’s passion?

a. What is going on under his hat?

87. Whom did Elton John marry in Australia?

a. On what date?

b. What was she doing in Australia?

c. Which Australian singer was present at the wedding?

88. Whom did Graham Kennedy marry in Australia?

a. What American TV comedy show did she star in?

89. How many Twelve Apostles are there?

90. In which month are the Birdsville Races held?

91. How many members sit in the House of Representatives?

92. How many members sit in the Senate?

93. Which Australian parliament does not have an upper house?

94. Which place has the lowest elevation in Australia?

95. Where are the oldest rocks in the world?

a. How old are they?

96. Where was the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party?

a. What happened to it?

97. Who formed the Liberal Party of Australia?

98. What were the first Australian political parties?

99. Who was the shortest-serving Australian Prime Minister?

a. Who was the longest?

100. What were:

a. The Statute of Westminster?

i. When was it enacted?

ii. When was it adopted?

iii. What did it do?

b. The Australia Act?

i. When was it enacted?

ii. What did it do? how did you do?

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Clare - further update

Just to confirm that Clare seems to have been given the 'all clear' this morning - meaning that tests from the further surgery she had a week or so ago to remove a little more tissue around the margin of the original cancer were negative, so hopefully all the 'bad' cells have now gone.

It's likely that she will now undergo a precautionary course of (daily) Radiotherapy for about 3-weeks and then in 3-months get checked again - and then if ok, regular annual checks. She has an initial appointment to plan this on Thursday so she'll know more after then.

Having just talked to her she sounded more upbeat and less tired than a few days ago so we're obviously pleased and very relieved about that.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Clare - update

It’s now over a month since Clare had her initial surgery in July – since then she’s made steady progress and has been down near to us to stay with one of her good friends, Sally, which was a great tonic for her.

After the results were available she was told that she needed some further surgery to remove a little more of the tissue ‘margin’ around the cancer – this was precautionary to make sure they had removed all the cancerous cells. She went in again on the 8th August and stayed overnight – although the surgery was less ‘sever’ and intrusive, the anaesthetic took some time to work through her system this time and she’s felt quite run-down and tired than after the first operation.

She has a further appointment this coming Tuesday to get the results but she called this morning to say that she’d received a letter with an ‘out-patient’ appointment with the Oncologist to assess and decide what ongoing treatment, if any, she will undergo.

So that’s where we are at the moment with fingers still firmly crossed that things will improve and the trauma of surgery will have all been worthwhile.

Clare is still recuperating at home and will be off work for a while yet; oh and just to add another dimension she learned a week or so ago that the Company she works for will soon be closing its operations in Keighley so she’ll be looking for a new job as soon as she’s fit enough.

As we all know, some times life deals you these bad ‘hands’ and Clare sure has had more than her fair share recently! So let’s hope those storm clouds part and the sun comes out in her life again soon!!

Hello again! Missed me?

Hmm, I just had this guilty feeling – it’s a month since I last posted something here and I’ve been getting complaints from far and wide!!

So I’m sorry – no real excuse just out of my routine since I was away for 10-days sailing at the end of July; you know how it is?!

Anyway, the sailing was good although because the weather was so awful and unpredictable we didn’t get as far south as St. Malo, visiting (apart from Cherbourg) just Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Islands. We did have some good sailing but mostly we ‘motored’ as either the wind or tides were against us – the tidal stream known as ‘the Alderney Race’ is especially severe and critical when sailing in that area.

And then I hurt my back!! Well it was after we had moored up at the Hamble on returning when we were moving heavy bags and provisions off the boat – I twisted and felt something go; ouch!! Next day I was flat on my back and crawled to see my Chiropractor, Henry Butterfield, who did his usual ‘tut, tut’ when I explained how it had happened!! Well, that’s how he makes his money I guess!!

It took all of two weeks to get myself fully mobile again – maybe I should be more careful in future!

Meantime there is some more up-to-date news on Clare which I’ll post separately after this.

We had a nice weekend break with our good friends Elaine and Sandy Downs in the lovely old Shropshire town of Ludlow last week and managed to experience a ghost for the first time!! It was actually a reasonably friendly ghost I think but nonetheless scary in the ‘prickly-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck’ situation! The house is very old (actually its two very old cottages, knocked into one) and some parts of it date back a few centuries – it was at one time apparently used as a hospital!

I first sensed something when we went to bed at around 11pm – I walked into the bedroom to a really strong and pungent smell, like fish or something like that. Shirley smelt it too and we both agreed it was an ‘un-natural’ smell – we switched the light off and snuggled closer together, peeking somewhat carefully from under the bed-covers!!

Thankfully, the night passed without any problem!

Next day we mentioned the smell to Elaine, being careful not to phrase it in an offensive way to our lovely host and hostess!! ‘Oh’ said Elaine. ‘Did I mention this to you before?’ ‘No?’ we replied, feeling more than a little apprehensive at what she was about to tell us!! ‘A fish-like or deathly type of smell?’ she enquired. I couldn’t actually remember what the latter smelt like so I said it was more like cat-food, kind of ‘fishy’!

Well it seems that there IS a ghost there! Elaine has sensed ‘something’ close behind her on one occasion and literally tore down the stairs in a blind panic and on another she saw what she described as ‘a shadow’ moving into their bedroom. Plus they’ve both experienced ‘the smell’ which seems to appear suddenly and then disappear just as quickly!!

We stayed three nights and strangely only smelt the ‘pong’ on the last night we were there, and then not as strongly as that first night so maybe the ghost got used to us and thought we weren’t that bad at all to be in ‘his’ or ‘her’ house!!

So next time you switch off the light at bedtime………………….!!