Japan and Australia have developed a healthy and rewarding friendship over the years and today they are strong partners in areas of trade, tourism and cultural exchange. Many young people from both countries take advantage of a bi lateral visa agreement that enables travel to either country on a wonderful work/holiday visa agreement. This allows young people to fully appreciate the wonderful culture and natural wonders that both countries have to offer.
A typical Australia Day activity is to gather friends and family and head to the nearest beach or parkland and enjoy a typical Aussie barbecue. This is always a great chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, usually on a hot sunny day, indeed the max. temperature in Perth today will be 41 degrees Celsius.
Some interesting and obscure facts about Australia for students are as follows:
• Australia is the sixth largest country in the world.
• It’s about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe
• Has the lowest population density in the world – only two people per square kilometre.
• The coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches, more than any other country in the world.
• More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast.
• Australia is the world’s largest exporter of beef.
• The world’s longest piece of straight railway track stretches 478 kilometres across South Australia’s vast, treeless Nullarbor Plain.
• The world’s longest continuous fence – the dingo fence – was built to keep sheep safe from Australia’s native dog and runs for 5,531 kilometres.
• More than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born.
• Australians invented notepads (1902), the surf lifesaving reel (1906), aspirin (1915), the pacemaker (1926), penicillin (1940) the Hills Hoist clothesline (1946), the plastic disposable syringe (1949), the wine cask (1965), the bionic ear (1978), dual-flush toilet flush (1980) anti-counterfeiting technology for banknotes (1992) and long-wearing contact lenses (1999).
I hope that in the future our students can visit Australia and enjoy what it has to offer and likewise more Aussies can make the trip to Japan and experience what a wonderful country that we live and work in.
So, to all the Aussies and their friends scattered all over this planet, a big Happy Australia Day!