January 26 is a time to mark and respect national achievements and their emergent international uniqueness! Famous Australian poet Andrew Barton “Banjo” Patterson provided an insight into how challenging the environment can be. In 1890 he wrote and arranged for the “Man from Snowy River” to be printed. His work appeared in “The Bulletin” magazine. “Banjo’s” family’s background was in grazing livestock. His poems reflect his life experiences and events linked, for example, to horses. “Banjo” was called to the practice of law. He wrote:
“Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled.
[You’ll come, a-waltzing Matilda, with me]…
The shade is critical in the heat, and locals have placed dampening agents around technology to keep it working even with 40 Celcius plus temperatures. The Australian Government (2021) reported that the Australian continent is the second driest in the world.
David Gordon Kirkpatrick “Slim Dusty’ (1945-2003) was another famous figure who contributed to Australian culture through his songs and lyrics. He sang both The Man from Snowy River and Waltzing Matilda.