Today (26 January) marks Australia Day, the day Aussies celebrate their country by having barbecues, drinking beer and listening to the Triple J Hottest 100.
Australia Day is not a day without controversy, given how the country’s indigenous people were treated by the settlers who came to Australia, with it also often referred to as Invasion Day or Survival Day, particularly by indigenous Australians.
The mixed emotions around Australia Day were reflected in the Australia-only Australia Day Google Doodle, which depicted a mother having a child taken away from her, reflecting the experiences of indigenous Australian people of the ‘stolen generation’.
The Doodle was the winner of the Australian Doodle 4 Google 2015 and was designed by 16-year-old Ineka Voight from Canberra under the theme ‘If I could travel back in time I would…’.
Of course, the connections between Ireland and Australia are strong, with our love of Home and Away and Neighbours well-known, and many Irish people spending at least some time in Australia, with more choosing to move there permanently.
So, to mark Australia Day, we decided to round up some viral internet moments Australia has given us in the last 12 months – some serious, some simply a laugh.
A music video from Australian comedy outfit Skit Box about women who wear their ‘activewear’ while doing anything but exercise went viral last year.
A clip of a boy eating an entire watermelon – skin and all – at a cricket match in Melbource became an internet sensation earlier this month.
Chris Gayle sexism row
The Melbourne Renegades cricketer sparked controversy and went viral all over the world last year when, during a post-match interview, he asked Network Ten presenter Mel McLaughlin for a drink and then said to her “don’t blush, baby”. His behaviour was universally criticised and he subsequently offered an apology to McLaughlin.
Waleed Aly responds to the Paris Attacks
Waleed Aly is an Australian writer and presenter and the co-host of Network Ten’s current affairs programme The Project. His impassioned editorial in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November prompted much discussion and has amassed almost 30m views on Facebook.
Stan Grant on racism and the Australian dream
Published on Friday last, Grant’s speech from a debate last year on “Racism is destroying the Australian dream” has already gone viral, having amassed more than 1m views on Facebook.
The Guardian Australia’s Indigenous Affairs editor, Grant argued that racism was at “the foundation of the Australian dream” and also brought up the quite shocking statistic that an indigenous child in Australia is more likely to go to prison than finish high school.
Food for thought on this Australia Day.
Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic.com’s daily dose of the lighter side of science and tech.
Sydney Harbour image via Shutterstock