Sunday, June 2, 2013

Australian Firsts etc - Final Instalment


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The first country to explore both the Arctic and Antarctic by air

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The Dim Sim was developed in Melbourne by Chinese chef William Wing Young for his restaurant "Wing Lee".

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The 150th anniversary of the Eight Hour Day in 2006 marked the action taken by stonemasons on 21 April 1856 led to the establishment and maintenance of the Eight Hour Day, recognised internationally as a world first. The Eight Hour Day became a symbol of the rights of workers to organise to achieve their rights not only as workers, but as citizens in a democratic society.


The 8 Hour Monument, Melbourne, commemorating the slogan “8 hours work, 8 hours rest, 8 hours recreation”. There was also a popular rhyme at the time:

8 hours work, 
8 hours play,
8 hours sleep,
8 bob a day!

(A ”bob” was a slang term for a shilling, an amount of pre-decimal currency).


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The Great Barrier Reef, Qld, is the longest coral reef in the world, extending over 2,012.5 kilometres.

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At 790 km, the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight - Wylie Scarp, Baxter Cliffs, Hampton Tableland and Bunda Cliffs - form the longest cliff face in the world.

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In 1915, Sydney became the first place in the world to appoint female police officers when South Australia and NSW appointed Kate Cocks (pictured) and Annie Ross. Kate Cocks was forty years of age when offered the position of Principal Police Matron. She was offered six assistants but declined, asking for only one woman. The woman she chose was thirty-two year old Annie Ross. They were appointed on the same pay as male officers. 

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Australia is the largest continent occupied by one nation and is the least populated.

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Sir Macpherson Robertson

Australian company MacRobertson's invented and produced famous chocolate products such as the Cherry Ripe (1924), Crunchie (1929) and Freddo Frog (1930)

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Lions being enclosed in a large landscaped 'pit' with visitors able to walk through on high bridges at Melbourne Zoo was the first “walk through” feature at zoos.

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Fred Walker and Cyril Callister developed a spread from one of the richest known natural sources of the vitamin B group - Brewers Yeast – in 1923 and called it Vegemite. I personally find it vile and it is beyond me how people can eat it, but then again my wife finds it revolting that I like pickled herring, Dutch salted liquorice and black pudding.

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The idea of 'coffee and cake' became so popular at a McDonalds in Melbourne in 1992 that it spread all over the world, giving us McCafe.

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In 1891 Melbourne brothels created a telephone rendezvous system, giving rise to prostitutes becoming known as call girls.

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Mary Fortune (1833-1910) is regarded as the first female author of detective fiction. Under the pseudonyms Waif Wander and W.W, she was one of the earliest female detective writers in the world and probably the first to write from the viewpoint of the detective.

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An Australian, Robert Torrens, championed a simplified system for the transfer of real property, tat system becoming known as Torrens Title The system transferred property by registration of title, instead of by deeds, and it has since been widely adopted throughout the world. 

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And finally, to conclude this series of posts, some other uniquely Australian souvenirs:

Kangaroo Paw Can Opener

Kangaroo Scrotum Can and Bottle Opener

Kangaroo Scrotum Pouch

Cane Toad Bottle Holder

Cane Toad Skin Visor...


...and Bow Tie

Makes one proud to be an Aussie.


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