Let me address some beliefs that people have about Australians:
- I did have a pet kangaroo as a child.
- I haven’t ridden a horse to school, but I have ridden a horse to go visiting to neighbours.
- I do own an Akubra (the Australian version of a cowboy hat).
- I haven’t been bitten by a snake, but I have killed some in the past (although technically illegal to do so).
- I love fishing, but hate beer.
- I can kick a football more than 50 metres.
- I can’t throw a boomerang.
- I’ve never, ever placed a shrimp on the barbie (because I don’t eat seafood. Don’t judge.)
- No, I personally do not know any Australian movie stars.
- And yes, I know that sometimes my language is indecipherable to other “English speaking” countries.
All of my stories (so far) are based in my home state of Western Australia, and I hope that my readers don’t mind the taste of my home that comes through in my writing. It does, however, cause my editors a few bald spots. A lot of the time I don’t realise I am using an Australianism, and many times there is no compromise if I wish to keep the authentic Aussie flavour to my book.
A prime example: thongs.
What did you just think of when you read that word? If you thought of a scrap of material that frequently finds itself wedged between two butt cheeks, then you were wrong. That is a g-string. Australians wear their thongs on their feet. Some countries call these flip flops, or sandals, or jandals – whatever. They are an extremely popular form of footwear and they are thongs to me. But I cannot use them in a story, because it doesn’t translate correctly.
Neither does Milo, flat white, footy, Ford-vs-Holden, chooks, smoko, caravan, a shout or budgie-smugglers.
So if anyone is lost, sorry ‘bout that. It makes perfect sense to me.