Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday's Scribe - Queen's Birthday in Australia

The official head of state of Australia is the Monarch of the Commonwealth Realms. The monarch's birthday is officially celebrated in many parts of Australia on the second Monday of June. However, this day is held on a date proclaimed by the governor, often on the last Monday of September or the first Monday of October, in the state of Western Australia.

Quick Facts
Many Australians celebrate the Queen's Birthday each year, as Australia is a constitutional monarchy.

Queen's Birthday

Alternative name
Volunteer's Day (South Australia)

Queen's Birthday 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011

Many Australians have a day off work on the Queen's Birthday. For many, it is a chance to do something with their family or to visit a sporting event. Some people take advantage of the three-day weekend to make trips to visit friends or relatives.

Some well-known sporting events are held on the second Monday of June. These include an Australian Football League game played at the Melbourne Cricket Club ground – the MCG, or ‘The “G”!’ The game is played between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons. It is also traditionally seen as the official opening weekend of the snow season in Australia. Traditionally, many public fireworks displays were organized on the Queen's Birthday.

On the second Monday in June, the Queen's Birthday honors list is released. This contains the names of the new members of the Order of Australia and other honors issued by the Australian government or the Queen. These are generally for exceptional service to Australians, Australia or humanity as a whole.

The significance of this event has slipped in Australia as it moves more and more towards establishing itself as a Constitutional Democracy. Monarchists still regard the event in high regard, however, for the average Australian it is merely another long weekend and an excuse to take off the Friday or the Tuesday and turn it into a four day holiday. Mostly you need to do this if you are travelling away from home because the roads are so congested with holiday traffic.

Camping is popular in warmer climate areas

So is a visit to the snowfields like these at Mt Hotham in Victoria

or just go caravanning.

The police also use the holiday period as an excuse to blitz traffic regulation violators and it is a ‘Double Demerit Points' (we get 12 points and lose points for infringements, e.g. 3 points for a low speed 'exceed the speed limit' offence - if we exhaust the 12 we lose out licence for a period!) weekend from midnight on the Thursday to midnight on the Monday,

NSW Police Highway Patrol Vehicle

Nissan Patrol 4WD Vehicle

Police Pursuit Motor Cyclist

It is also a time for bestowing honours. The Australian Honours System contains awards in addition to the Order of Australia. These include bravery awards, meritorious service awards, overseas service and long service awards.
The Officer of the Order of Australia is our highest award in the Honours list.

Next is the Member of the Order of Australia.

Then there’s the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Thenfollows the Military, Bravery, Nursing, Meritorious Service, Australian Service, Commemorative and Long Service Award divisions.

Because the Honours are viewed with some scepticism of bureaucratic and political bias by most Australians, It’s a standard joke on Queens Birthday weekend to greet a fellow Australian with:

“Did you make the honours, this time, mate?”

“Narh! Missed out again!”

“Bad luck! So did I!”

“Oh well, there’s always next year!”

and you both head off to the BBQ and a few cold beers!

Anyhow, Avagidweegend! LOL!

("Avagidweegend" translates as "Have a good weekend!")


Sharon said...

A good reason for a holiday, I guess. A tad confusing to me, I was trying to figure when she was born - guess I need to google that. :-)

JohnD said...

Well, Phil turned 90 yesterday, so she made him the (titular) Lord High Admiral of the Fleet and Commander of the Queen's naveeeeee! LOL! Sounds like a G&S act.

He was older than her when she first met him and he had to wait a few years before he could ask for her hand. I believe Phil met Liz in 1939 when she was 13 years old and they never got married until after the war - think he proposed in '44 and they got married in '46!