*Phar lap - Phar Lap was Australia's greatest race horse winning 37 of his 51 starts. After handicappers saddled him with enough weight to stop a train, his owner took him overseas to race in America. He easily won his first race but then died in mysterious circumstances.
* Mungo man - In 1974, scientists discovered the Mungo man - a primate who was ritually buried 40-60,000 years ago with his hands covering his penis. ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research found that the skeleton's genetic material contained a small section of mitochondrial DNA. It was analysed and compared to the genetic material from nearly 3,500 people; including Neanderthals, Asians, ancient Aborigines, and present-day Aborigines. It was found that Mungo Man's DNA lacked a gene that was common to all the other samples. Consequently, unlike every other known person on the planet, or unearthed skeleton, Mungo man can not be traced to humans that left Africa any time in the last 200,000 years.Man's unique DNA has been used to challenge the 'out of Africa' theory of human evolution.
*Rosaleen Norton - Rosaleen was born in 1917. She lived outside the realm of respectable society; flouting all moral and social conventions. Her published book of illustrations was declared obscene by the censors and banned in 1952.known as the Kings Cross Witch, she was hounded by the media who seized on her alleged satanic rituals, sex orgies and drug-taking. When asked whether she ever considered leading an ordinary life, she exclaimed: "Oh God no, I couldn't stand it! I'd go mad or sane. I don't know which."
*William James Chidley - William was born in 1860 and came to prominence due to his unconventional theories on sex, diet and clothing. Donned in a Spartan tunic, he preached living a 'natural' life of nudity and a diet comprising only fruit and nuts.suffered constant persecution by the authorities, was committed to various asylums and jailed. Ironically, he was regarded as a pervert for mentioning sex when he was something of a puritan in his teachings and lifestyle. However the public became fond of him and subsequently petitioned parliamentarians and the media to get him released.
*Billy Blue - Billy was a Convict of African decent. He was quite a character due to his respectable attire of top hat and discarded military uniform.colourful was his personality that his frequent law infringements were looked upon with a 'benevolent ' air by police.
*Tim the Yowie man - Tim began his career as a mild mannered economist but during a bushwalking expedition, his life changed after coming face to face with a Yowie. (Australian bigfoot)realized his calling and gave up the figures to investigate those mysterious occurrences that others were too afraid to openly discuss. Tim named his genre "cryptonaturalism" and to this day, he remains the genre's only occupant.
Economy and lifestyle
*Homicide - Australia was founded by Convicts. Its homicide rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. It's homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000. Almost 400% greater than Australia.
*The ocker - 10 percent of Australians satisfy the definition of an 'ocker' . This 10 percent of the population consume 80 percent of the beer drunk in Australia.
*Gun toting- On average, American soldiers fired seven times as many bullets as Australian soldiers during the Vietnam war.
*Newspaper readership - Per capita, Australians read more newspapers than any other nation.
*Urban dwellers - Australia is one of the world's most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities.
*Gambling - Per Capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.
*With less than 1 percent of the world's population, Australia has more than 20 percent of its poker machines.
*Australia's expenditure on arts products ranks among the highest in developed countries.
*The average world population density is 117 people per square mile, that of the United States 76 and that of Macao is 69,000. Australia's is only 6.
*Employment of Australians - 80% service sector 14% manufacturing 5% rural.
*2.3 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from agriculture.
*15 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from mining.
*.02 percent of the Australian land mass is used by mines. More land is occupied by pubs.
*Rabbits - For each person in Australia there are two sheep and over 16 rabbits, the latter introduced in 1859 by one enterprising man who brought 24 wild rabbits from England in an effort to remind him of home.
*Bicentenary - At the highpoint of the Bicentenary in 1988, 51% of Australians couldn't see any good reason for celebrating.
*Cannabis arrests- In 1999, 46,000 Australians were arrested for possession or use of Cannabis.
*Cannabis use - It is estimated that 50% of Australians aged 14-19 are active users of Cannabis.
*Cannabis industry - The sale of illegal cannabis industry constitutes 1 percent of Australia's GDP and is twice the size of the Australian wine industry.
"The country itself is the ultimate joke; the wave you body-surf into shore after a day at the beach could contain a shark or a rip-tide and, when you get back, your house could have been burnt to the ground in a bush fire. That's where the whole 'no worries' thing comes from." Mark Little- actor and critics of the Australian sense of humourfirst coined, the term 'Larrikin' referred to street criminals and was uttered in same breath as rapscallions, hooligans, and scallywags. In contemporary times, it is applied to anyone with an Australian sense of humour. Larrikin humour tends to be good natured, self-depreciating, and quite subtle.
comforting someone who is dying of cancer, it probably isn't tactful to joke about how much one is enjoying a mini-series. Yet such black humour is one of the most notable aspects of Australian comedy. For example, when a serial killer kidnapped backpackers and buried their bodies in the Belangalo State Forest, a hardware shop in Moss Vale (near the forest) began selling souvenir shovels with the letters 'B.S.F' engraved upon them. Similarly, when seven bodies where discovered decomposing in barrels of acid in the country town of Snowtown, the town's stores began selling souvenir coffee mugs with captions such as "come to Snowtown, you'll have a barrel of a time."1967 Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at a Portsea beach and was never seen again. As a mark of 'respect', construction soon began on the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Pool. Psychologists have offered two different explanations for the origins of black humour. The first is 'incongruity theory.' Incongruence is caused when someone experiences conflicting motivations after being presented with disparate ideas. For example, if someone wants to like Australians but also believes one should respect the dead, they will have conflicting motivations about the Snowtown souvenir mugs. This attitude incongruence may cause one of the attitudes to 'give'. For example, they may decide they don't like Australians anymore or decide they don't care about disrespecting the dead. If attitude change is not a desirable outcome, the person may just laugh and then move on. second theory is a 'catharsis release'. Freudian psychologists believe that humour allows people to release tension associated with difficult experiences. This helps them address those issues that they can not openly discuss. For example in the Convict era, Convict etiquette demanded suffering in silence whilst the law considered complaints as insolence and punished it with flogging. As both Convict etiquette and the law prevented the Convicts from discussing their emotional distress, they were forced to make jokes to deal with their emotional turmoil.same kinds of needs are still expressed today. When Australian comic Bill Leak found out that his mate had lost his right-big toe in an accident, Leak had confused emotions. Although he could have sent flowers and a get well card, instead he sent a thong with big toe attached in the appropriate position and a note: 'Glue here.'
is quite a common feature of Australian humour. In response to stories that distort reality or cloud perceptions, Australians often tell a joke that is funny in its truthfulness. For example, after noting that the media always has the tact to portray a murder victim as quiet and nice, and generally liked by the neighbours, Natalie Tran wished that the media could run an honest story that portrayed the woman as disliked by her neighbours and was generally disliked. In the simulation, the neighbours sunk the boot into the victim with statements like "At the end of the day, I'm nice to people and I'm alive."Tran wishes the media story on the murdered neighbour didn't always portray her as quiet and nice.
Natalie wants truth in advertising
character of Chopper Reid on the Ronnie Burns Half Hour is another one whose humour is derived from honesty. In Choppers case, the humour comes from attacks on political correctness that compels people to act in ways that are contrary to how they think of feel. Rather than conform, Chopper is honest enough to state how he thinks