'Australia Day' - 26th January

(Photo courtesy of our friend and colleague Karen Warlow, whose son Luke is currently touring Australia)


Ask members if anyone has visited Australia? What did they think of their time there?

If members have not visited, would they like to?

Has anyone any friends or relatives living there?

What do people think of the country? What about the wildlife?

Do people know any 'Aussies'?


Ask members to complete (some of) these Australian inspired idioms ...

“Don’t blow your own - TRUMPET.”

“A bad worker blames his - TOOLS.”

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the - BUSH.”

“The grass looks greener on the other side of the - FENCE.”

“There is a thin line between love and - HATE.”

“You can’t teach an old dog new - TRICKS.”

“You might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a - LAMB.”

"You can’t judge a book by its - COVER."

“He who laughs last, laughs - LONGEST.”

“Faint heart never won fair - LADY.”

"A stitch in time saves - NINE."

"A watched pot never - BOILS."

"The pot calls the kettle - BLACK."

"Actions speak louder than - WORDS."

"After the storm comes the - CALM."

"Bad news travels - FAST."

"Better safe than - SORRY."

"Blood is thicker than - WATER."

"Call a spade a - SPADE."

"Cut your coat according to the - CLOTH."

"Charity begins at - HOME."

"Absence makes the heart grow - FONDER."

"Familiarity breeds - CONTEMPT."

"Don’t count your chickens before they are - HATCHED."

"Empty vessels make the most - SOUND."

"Don’t look a gift horse in the - MOUTH."

"God helps those who help - THEMSELVES."

"If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with - FLEAS."

"Once bitten, twice - SHY."

"One good turn deserves - ANOTHER."

"To each his - OWN."

"One man’s meat is another man’s - POISON."

And my favourite ...

"Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you’re a mile away and - HAVE THEIR SHOES."


Ask members to guess at (some of) the meanings of these Australian slang words ...

Chunder - BE SICK

Budgie smugglers - TIGHT BATHERS

Sheila - WOMAN

Amber nectar - LAGER

Dunny - TOILET

Fair dinkum - FAIR ENOUGH

Mates rates - CHEAP DEAL

A Pommy - A BRIT



G’Day mate - HELLO

No worries - OKAY

Feeling crook - UNWELL


Bruce - MAN

Your shout - YOUR ROUND

You little ripper - YOU BEAUTY


ROUND 1. Culture

1. Who was the first European in 1770 was to explore and map the eastern coastline of Australia?

2. Between 1788-1868, 608 ships transported more than how many convicts to Australia?

3. True or False. HM Queen Elizabeth 11 is constitutional monarch and head of state of Australia?

4. What are native Australians called?

5. Which are native New Zealanders called?

6. What is the name of this Australian musical instrument?

7. What is the name of this traditional Australian weapon? (Did anyone have one?)

8. What is the name of the ceremonial dance the All Blacks perform before rugby matches?

Here's a link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiKFYTFJ_kw

9. SONG. ‘Waltzing Matilda’, Australia Patriotic Song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yILM3L2sXM

What is a ‘Billabong’, as mentioned in this old bush ballad?

ROUND 2. Animals

10. ‘Skippy The Bush Kangaroo’ - link to TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hByob-5pPEs&t=91s

What is a baby Kangaroo called?

11. 'Flipper' - link to TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6PqrTZsho0&t=76s

What creature is ‘Flipper’?

12. Koalas eat a diet exclusively of what?

13. Which Australian bird did Rod Hull model his puppet on?

Who did he attack when appearing on his chat show in 1976?

Here's a clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kek1vs6bM2k

14. What is the name given to the only egg laying mammal living, which is native to Eastern Australia?

15. What is the name of this wild Australian dog?

16. What is the name of this little varmint, native to an island state of Australia?

17. Which is the most dangerous creature in Australia, i.e. which caused the most human deaths between 2008-17?

- Kangaroos

- Sharks

- Horses and Cows

- Crocodiles, or

- Spiders

18. SONG. 'I Should Be So Lucky', Kylie Minogue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_TvpBwSZDM

Complete these other Kylie song titles:

- 'The Loco- ******'

- 'Especially For ***'

- 'Hand On Your *****'

- 'Better The Devil You ****'

- 'Can't Get You Out Of ** ****'

ROUND 3. Places

19. What is the proper (Aboriginal) name for 'Ayers Rock'?

20. What is the name of the structure made of coral off the coast of Queensland in North East Australia? (It stretches for more than 1,250 miles long and makes up an area of 135,000 square miles)

21. In which year was 'Sydney Opera House' opened by Queen Elizabeth? (Nearest guess)

22. What is the name of the most famous surfing beach in Australia (it is in Sydney)?

23. 'Sydney Harbour Bridge' is one of those landmarks across the world where you see the fireworks on New Year's Eve. How many hours ahead of us are they in New South Wales?

(Do any members fancy climbing over it?)

24. The Australian flag is based on which British maritime flag?

25. SONG. ‘Land Down Under’, Men At Work - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfR9iY5y94s

What is the English version of Vegemite? (Do members love it or hate it?)

ROUND 4. TV & Film

26. Who starred in the 1980s drama ‘The Thorn Birds’?

Here is a link to the TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcQXWxcjMGw

27. What was the name of the prison in 'Prisoner Cell Bock H'?

Here is a link to the TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK1iAwlhsnQ

28. What is the name of the cul de sac where 'Neighbours' is set?

Here's a link to the TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQ4QQxSFlI

29. What is the name of the fictional coastal town in 'Home And Away'?

Here is a link to the TV theme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gx-GT_K_EI

30. Which hit BBC TV show did the 1992 movie ‘Strictly Ballroom’ inspire?

Here is the 'Final Dance' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk-nWE9yeG8&t=47s

31. What is the name of this 1994 movie about a group of drag act friends who take their act on the road?

Here is a clip, 'I Will Survive' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0gGWiRkjYM

32. In the 1994 movie 'Muriel's Wedding', Muriel is obsessed with ABBA. What are the names of the two female singers in ABBA?

Here is a link to their 'Waterlooo' dance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqti-Sxsxk4

33. Filmed in New Zealand and released in 2001-3, what was the name of the wizard in ‘Lord Of The Rings’ and which actor played him?

'Dragon Fireworks' clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0XiuLj-pHA

34. SONG. 'Summer Lovin', Grease - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW0DfsCzfq4

Name the two characters and actors?

ROUND 5. People

35. What flower is Dame Edna Everage associated with?

What is his name?

36. Complete the name of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jason Donovan starred in from 1990-93?


Here is a link to 'Any Dream Will Do' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfNMhu9wdl0

37. Which Page 3 model did Peter Andre marry in 2005? (They later divorced in 2009)

38. Name this famous Australian cricket player?

39. Name this character and movie star?

40. Which presenter duo host ITV’s ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ each year?

41. Name this actor, who starred in the 1995 movie 'Braveheart'?

42. Name this actor, who starred in the 2000 movie 'Gladiator'?

43. Name this (now divorced) Hollywood couple?

44. Name this actor, who starred in the 2012 musical movie 'Les Miserables'?

45. Name this Kiwi Dame (she is an opera singer)?

NB. I've included a cover versions of a Rolf Harris song next, so as to avoid any upset at mention of his name, which could be triggering for some.

'Two Little Boys', Jerry Graham Sounds - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI4_nQvqQNM


Encourage members to get up and dance their best moves.

BONUS SONG. 'Xanadu', Olivia Newton-John & E.L.O. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLi8fTlDEag

BONUS SONG. 'Physical', Olivia Newton-John - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWz9VN40nCA

BONUS SONG. 'Locomotion', Kylie Minogue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POWsFzSFLCE


Have members make some original Aboriginal inspired artwork, either on cloth, canvas or pebbles. You could either do this individually or as a group.

Aboringal art tends to be very colourful and uses repetitive symmetrical patterns. Painting dots on top of block base colours also seems to be important. Often an animal or tree or something else from nature is included in the drawing.

Have some fun with this and maybe play some more Australian music in the background?

Or, you could plan an Australian style BBQ with your group. Have them choose items to grill and other refreshments. Make a list and then perhaps enjoy a burger and 'tinny' together.

Heather Manktelow suggests playing a 'Thong Throwing' game, as is tradition on 'Australia Day'. 'Thongs' are what Brits call 'Flip Flops'. You could have a few prizes on standby for the furthest thrown.

Heather also suggests you have a go at learning and performing 'The Haka' together with your group and painting faces.

Great suggestions. Thanks Heather x

Finally, for relaxation, you could play the Australian national anthem, or this Aboriginal song by Gurrumul - 'Wiyathul (Longing For Place) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lmZXAdSMQI