Australia Day is rapidly approaching once again, and as Australians far and wide plan their celebrations we would like to make a few suggestions of our own. But first of all, a little information about this holiday for those not in the know!
Celebrated on the 26th of January every year, Australia Day marks the arrival of the very first fleet of British ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales, all the way back in 1788. While it could be argued that there are better dates for an official Australia Day, this is the one that has stuck, and as immigrants partake in citizenship ceremonies to affirm their commitment to their new homeland, native Australians all around the world will be celebrating their own proud heritage however they see fit.
The day itself is celebrated all around Australia and focuses on appreciating diversity, community, history and the landscape of the nation. The Australian of the Year awards and honour lists are also released at this time and there are events in every major capital for those wanting to get out and have fun.
However if you can’t get out this Australia Day, or you’re an expat living away from Australia, we have a few tips and suggestions of what you can do. Of course there are all kinds of things you can do – the important thing is to celebrate the beautiful history and culture of our magnificent county.
Some easy things to do –
Organise a game of cricket! While expats might be a bit cold trying to do this in the rest of the world’s winter, it would still be a great experience and something even non-Aussies could get well into. If you aren’t with a particularly active bunch you can always watch the Australia vs India match at 2:20pm NSW local time from Sydney Cricket Ground.
Gather around to watch some classic Australian films, from the flamboyant yet poignant The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert to the Crocodile Dundee movies and even the revenge-fuelled Mad Max – or hit the nail right on the head with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in Australia. Alternatives to the usual might include Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation, The Babadook or the Aboriginal Samson and Delilah. Anything by Baz Luhrmann is also acceptable although unfortunately if you have children you may not have a choice other than The Wiggles movie!
Us Aussies love to eat, and this doesn’t change just because we live somewhere that’s too cold to barbecue. Come rain or snow Aussies around the world will be lighting the BBQ on this Australia Day and serving up seafood, kangaroo burgers and spicy chicken. In the kitchen, chefs can prepare pavlova and lamingtons for dessert – although for a fantastic adaptation of an Australian treat read on for how to make a Tim Tam cake!
- 370g caster sugar
- 185g room temperature butter, chopped
- Three eggs
- 225g self-raising lour
- 80g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125ml milk
- 125ml water
- 100g of Tim Tams, finely chopped
For the ganache:
- 300ml pouring cream
- 400g milk chocolate, chopped
For the filling:
- 450g icing sugar, sifted
- 125g butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp malted milk powder
- 200g milk chocolate, melted
- Begin by preheating your own to 180°C and lining two 18x27cm tins.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and pale, and then beat in the eggs one at a time until just combined.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda, and then sift half into the butter and sugar mixture. Add milk and then fold with a metal spoon before sifting in the remaining flour mixture. Add water and fold.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Cool in the pan for five minutes before moving onto a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate and separately bring the cream to boil in a saucepan before pouring the cream over the chocolate. Sit until smooth and leave in the fridge for forty minutes until thick and cool.
- For the filling, beat the butter until it becomes pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar, milk powder and milk until smooth and then beat in the chocolate until thoroughly mixed.
- Mix the chopped Tim Tams into the filling and spread out across one layer of the cake. Put the other half of cake on top and leave for around thirty minutes before spreading on the ganache and leaving it to cool once more.
And there we have it – Australia Day 2015 all wrapped up! Remember that if you aren’t in the homeland, the date will fall on a Monday, so why not make it an Australia Weekend instead?