Aussie Culture & Parochialism

Aussie’s are proud of their culture. We have a dry sense of humour as many a new settler would agree. Well at least I, being a bloody Pom agree and weren’t we all migrants or refugees at some time. Although we do not speak ‘Strine generally, especially in more recent years, I do have fond memories of past movies and books where the Aussie ‘strine was the dominant theme. Terms that come to mind that I like include “Cobber”, “Me ol’ mate”, “London to a brick” and “Zac and deenar” etc.

As well as these terms there is also the parochialism where Sydneysiders would tell anyone that “Melbourne is the only place in the world where the river flows upside down” (The Yarra has all the mud on the top of the river)”. Where Queenslanders are known as “Banana Benders” and South Australians as “Crow Eaters”

Australians also have a reputation of being great beer drinkers. During the ‘60s and ‘ 70s parochialism was also rife in describing the beer products throughout Australia. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries there were 100s of breweries throughout the country and during the 50s and 60s many had closed down or were absorbed into larger corporations. At that time just about every state and territory would have claimed that they made the “Best beer in the country if not the entire planet”.

If you were a Queenslander your beer of choice would likely have been XXXX or Bulimba, in NSW the choice would have been either Tooth’s; Resch’s or Toohey’s. In Victoria it may have been VB, Fosters or Carlton which were all made by the one company. Tasmanians would have been drinking either Boag’s in the North or Cascade in the South. South Australians liked their West End, Southwark or Cooper’s, whilst over in the West it was Swan, Emu or Hannan’s. Up North in Darwin you couldn’t go past the NT Stubby.

How many times when travelling have you seen signs on shops saying “The Best Fish & Chips on the Coast” or “The Best Pies in the State”? These claims can only be described as a marketing ploy. I have experience this whilst driving around the state.

Beautiful pies from the old Robertson Pie Shop many years ago, yet down the road in Kangaroo Valley we came across a Pie Shop which claimed to have the best award winning pies. After purchasing some of their pies we found a lack of filling (very little meat) and only just warm.

Naturally Aussies are also parochial about their sport. Many support their local football team of whatever code and would not hear a bad word said about them.

Well stone the crows, it’s time to finish this week’s column and go and have a hot meat pie and cold beer and watch the footie on the tele. After which I may read that great literary classic “They’re A Weird Mob” by Nino Culotta. By the way it’s your shout for the beer me ol’ mate and I’ll have a schooner of “Old” ta.

Don’t forget to contribute your memories and also any old photographs that you would like to see published in this magazine’s “as we were” section.


You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up or moving into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays; your first car; that first date, getting married or maybe the history of your family, group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours.

If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153 or email to [email protected]

You can also share memories on any of my Facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories at Hills.memories or Hawkesbury Happenings & Memories at

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