A month ago, Tasmania officially supported same-sex marriage, a news that counts as another win for the LGBT community (more details below). Such events only proves that Australia is a dynamic country where world changing-developments and advancements come from the most unlikely occurrences.
We rounded up the most mind-bending (and soon ground breaking, probably) news from around the country.
In what would be another step towards greater equality in the country, Tasmania became the very first state government to support same-sex marriage when the Upper and Lower House have voted for it in principle. The motion was passed eight votes to five on the heels of a lengthy debate.
Marriage equality advocates lauded on this development and described it to be significant, noting that Tasmanian Upper House is traditionally quite conservative in its views.
But this shifting political perspective isn't limited to Tasmania. A week ago, South Australia introduces bill to recognise same-sex marriages. The bill will permit the establishment of a relationships register to which same-sex couples could legally put their marriage on record. The state has yet to officially approve of this but at least, the efforts for gender equality is gaining greater grounds in the political arena.
What it means to us: Australia is the paramount of equality in the western world, be it in culture, educational background, and gender. Pushing for marriage equality for the LGBT community further solidifies this trait and make way for other positive changes in the country.
It is indeed one small step for a man, one giant leap for meat-and-bread lovers-kind.
An Australian entrepreneur has secured a patent for the Hamdog, an odd shaped merging of hamburger and hotdog sandwich nobody actually thought they ever need. Mark Murray, an Antipodean from Perth, officially secured the patent in 2009, but kept his invention in secret for seven years until he gathered enough investments to share this gift to the world, like a fast food Prometheus giving the gift of fire to mankind.
He launched it July this year, and it was massively successful, proving the judges of Shark Attack (basically Australia’s Shark Tank) wrong when they turned down Murray’s concept.
The Hamdog consists of a burger patty sliced into two and with a frankfurter wedged in between, and with a customized bun to contain the two.
What it means to us: For those who are constantly confused between having a hamburger and a hotdog sandwich for lunch, this is a huge relief. Also for lovers of meat pies, your favorite treat will soon have a rival.
Ironically, the Hamdog isn’t the weirdest amalgamation of name you can find in Australia. That distinction belongs to the towns and villages in Northern Territory.
English company ST and G created a map of Australia showing all the quirkiest, funniest, and rudest names in country, a bulk of which is in NT. From Boing Boing, to Humpty Doo, to Moolooloo. There is also Rum Jungle, Mount Delight, and Mount Mistake. Head to the south and you have Dead Dog Waterhole, Cockroach Waterhole, Touchy Touch Bore, Crazy Creek, and Fiddlers Lake.
Also, many are explicit, swear-based, and innuendo-filled names (that we just cannot put here).
You may buy the map here though, and have a good chuckle.
What it means to us: The country is home to the weirdest name places for centuries now. Being aware of all these provides a wider perspective of this humorous side of our national identity. Also, it will be a lovely conversation piece in your living room wall.
And since we’re on the topic of quirky place names…
To wake up to eggs and bacon is one of the best things in life. A community in Tasmania has been doing this everyday (at least not literally) because that’s the name of their place.
Ironically, the town of Eggs and Bacon Bay was not named after every person’s dream breakfast, but after a wildflower of the same name popular in the area (why that flower was named such is still a matter of mystery to us). However, a group is pushing a campaign to change the town’s name for a better one. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the town might as well be called “Heart Attack Bay” because of the cholesterol and saturated fat-filled namesakes.
The mayor seems to concur, saying that the name change is helpful if it will “promote healthy lifestyles.” The residents are not as enthusiastic, though, as the town has been named such for quite a while and people might not be able to find and recognize it once altered.
What it means to us: If the name change where to push through, that means Beefsteak Creek in New South Wales and Leg of Lamb Bank in Western Australia need to rethink their town's name also. Not to mention the hundreds of wackily named places we mentioned above.
If your pizza delivery is getting late these days or you are somehow getting lost while driving to the next town because your GPS is betraying you, you blame the tectonic plates that seem to never get itself together.
Australia is currently moving at 2.7 inches northward a year, making it one of the fastest shifting land form in the surface of the earth by geological standards. This is caused by the constantly drifting tectonic plates. The Global Positioning System is the one that gets constantly affected by this, as the country needs to modify its longitudes and latitudes so they line up with the coordinates. In the last 50 years, Australia has changed its official coordinates four times already just for the sake of accuracy.
What it means to us: A mere three inches a year will not make us cozy neighbors with Indonesia in a decade or so. But such small movements can affect airplanes’ navigation which rely also on GPS. Not to mention the self-driving cars Google and Tesla are trying to roll out.