Random Australian Trivia

  • There are only two egg-laying mammals in the world, both of which come from Australia – The echidna, or spiny anteater, and the platypus.
  • A kangaroo’s tail does not touch the ground when it is hopping at speed. The animal only uses the tail to balance its jumping efforts, and to rear upon when stopped.
  • The first flight across the Pacific Ocean was made by Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, from Oakland in California to Brisbane, Australia in 1928.
  • 95% of the world’s opal are dug up in Australia, and also the biggest opals outright. (The record holder being 6.8 kg!)
  • The first around-the-world passenger service by an airline was started by Qantas, in 1958.
  • Qantas stands for Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services.
  • Qantas is the world’s second oldest airline, (est 1920) with only KLM being older.
  • Australia took on its unification of the six British colonies in 1901, when a single Australia-wide government was formed.
  • Australia is one of the most governed countries on earth, with one politician for every 20,000 Aussies. The British have one politician for every 45,000 people.
  • Australia’s National Anthem was “God Save The Queen”, up until 1984, where upon it was changed to “Advance Australia Fair”. This was due to a referendum in 1977. It took that long to get a non militaristic and politically correct version out. (The original second verse was cut completely)
  • On the 7th of March, 1856, workers in Sydney belonging to the Stonemason’s Society were the first workers in the world to gain an eight hour working day. (reduced from ten hours)  This is celebrated in Australia by the holiday, “Labour Day”.
  • The first pension for women in the world was brought in by the New South Wales government in 1926.
  • The first ‘secret ballot’ system for parliament in the world was introduced in the Legislative Council of Victoria, Australia, on 27-8-1856. The rest of the world took another few decades.
  • The preferential voting system was first introduced into the world in Queensland, in 1892.
  • The Utility, or as it’s called in Australia the ‘ute’, was invented in Australia by Ford in 1932. The legend has it that it that a farmer came to Ford, looking for a car that could “work on the farm all week, and then take the wife to church on Sundays.”
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