Tuesday 26th January – Australia Day

Invasion Day

Bronwen and I drove into the city and parked—which is easy to do on a public holiday because all the parking is free. We then walked through a light drizzle to Parliament House, where there was an “Invasion Day” rally. The talking went on for far too long and the message was often rather confused.  Also somewhat confusingly, several first-nations flags from around the world were prominently displayed alongside the numerous Aboriginal flags.

In yet another confusing message, chanting of “you say justice, we say murder” changed into “don’t use our flag” as Parliament House took down the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags (it would be interesting to see what would happen if they never put them up again), and everyone marched through the city and over to Musgrave Park. It was quite a large march—larger than the pre-election “Gay Equality” march, but not as large as the “Rally for the Reef” one—I estimated a thousand people, though Bronwen felt it was more.

People mill about at the speaking part of the rallyApparently this was a Canadian first-nations flagIn a confusing gesture, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are lowered at Parliament houseThis is cultural genocideA protester shows a lot of passion for her causeThe message is clear, but incorrectIs it Aboriginal land, or were they invaded? Can’t really be both can it?The march gets underwayHands Off Our CommunitiesThe media mob the mobWarriors of the Aboriginal ResistanceResisting Terrorism since 1788Australia: Stolen Wages, native Title, Land Rights, Deaths in Custody, Stolen ChildrenThe march forms a dance circleChildren danceThe dance circleOne of the warriors of the resistance speaks to the crowdThe march appears around a cornerAll of the Brisbane contingent of Anonymous—they are legion, and also don’t like Hillary it seems.A message to all skaters: you will not be arrested for skating illegally if you play a didgeridoo

Australia Day

After the protesters had headed over to the nether regions of the city and out of everyone’s collective consciousness, Bronwen and I bought some chips and an apple turnover from Coles and drove to The Normanby (you can’t safely eat there—they were recently fined $30,000 for having too many cockroaches in their food) and their “1000 Watt Esky Races”. The atmosphere there couldn’t have been more different to the harsh, violent black, red and yellow iconography of the “Invasion Day” rally—with a liberal spattering of “look-I-take-roids” men and their “these-aren’t-fake-they’re-real” female counterparts each trying to show off as much of their respective assets as they could while getting rapidly drunk watching people fall off motorised eskies, or trying to eat two Chiko rolls as fast as they could.

A few people got hurt—mostly by catching their thong (or sandal) wearing feet on the ground—and after going slowly last year, this time Bronwen easily won her esky race, putting her through to the finals. She came second in the finals after they inexplicably reduced the races from four laps to two and she picked a position towards the back at the starting line and didn’t have enough time to overtake the girl who was started—and finished—first.

Then the Normanby—who had been advertising “races every hour and the chance to win prizes worth over $5000” and had been announcing all day that second prize was a $200 gift voucher—gave Bronwen a $100 gift voucher for coming second. First got a $500 gift voucher, and second and third each got a $100 one, and there was a men’s and a woman’s race—so by most peoples’ math, that’s a chance to win a total price worth $500, out of a prize pool of $1,400. To make their deceptive advertising practices slightly worse, they also stole the two photos I uploaded to their Facebook and used them in one of their ads. Still, it was a lot of fun and I didn’t get banned at the door for having a camera this year.

Chiko roll eating competitionThe eskies await their driversThe men corneringCaptain Australia. The moustache is visible, but the mullet is hidden.The women discoveering the first cornerConcentrating hard…Taking it casuallyOh no! Oh no! Oh no!Oh never mind!Just like Mario KartAnother Chiko roll eating contestThe men roaring down the straightBronwen taking her esky for a spinBronwen corneringBronwen not concentrating on where she’s goingSomeone else not concentrating on where they’re goingGirls corneringAccelerate!Corner!Just go everywhere!Extreme corneringExcellent rapid dismount techniqueHow not to cornerThe emergency stop manoeuvreA slightly different emergency stop manoeuvre Taking his thongs for a spinShowing off to the girlsYou know it’s serious once the tongue comes outDemonstrating the official Australia Day way of brakingThe motor inside one of the eskiesCornering going slightly wrongCornering going even more wrongCornering gone badly wrongBronwen came secondBronwen receives a $100 gift voucherThe Normanby Hotel Esky Races

 My photos being used by The Normanby in their deceptive advertising“We offer prizes over $5000 to the winners of our His and Her Esky Racing”—except they were actually $500 gift vouchers.


After the esky races had finished Bronwen and I caught the top three triplej Hottest 100 songs on the radio, and had to stand by helplessly as some drunk morons ruined one of council’s finest plants—which is the best argument I’ve seen against gun control—and then drove into the city where we had veggie burgers from Hungry Jack’s for dinner and went and saw the Bollywood film “Airlift” at the Myer Centre. Conveniently, this used up—to the dollar—my movie gift card I got from my sister for my previous birthday, and which expires at the end of the month. I can now move onto using up the new one she gave me!

A moron and his mateThe moron climbs the plantSadly, the moron did not fall into traffic and be killedThe moron who broke council’s pretty plantI reported them to council, who will investigate within 28 working days…

The movie itself was quite good—not really like a Bollywood film, though they did manage to sneak in a tiny bit of song and dance—and told an interesting story I didn’t know anything about.

Bronwen watches Australia Day fireworks