Girt by sea!

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, Oi! Oi! Oi! Our national dress code is short shorts, thongs, and the good old t-shirt! We shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime, and we feel better for it! (Photo by L.J. May)



Who is the author of this preamble? Well, Tim Ferguson started it back in 1999 when he wrote: ‘The Prime Minister and the poet have had their go. Now here’s what they should have said. “WE, the People of the broad, brown land of Oz, wish to be recognised as a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional trannie...”

Since then, a host of people have altered the preamble to suit their taste and circulated it around the world. There’s a South African version as well, apparently – but they didn’t get the joke. Read on!


WE, the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional wanker, come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand), and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like.


First, there's VICTORIA, named after a queen who didn't believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand-final day and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that ‘it's liveable’. At least that's what they think. The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.

Next, there's NEW SOUTH WALES, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital, Sydney, has more queens than any other city in the world and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers who pull their Speedos up their cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.

Down south we have TASMANIA, a State based on the notion that the family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA is the province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners, off season carni-folk, and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively reuse country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA is too far from anywhere to be relevant. Its main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving because if it did all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts and many of them still work there in the government and business.

THE NORTHERN TERRITORY is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, cattle
stations the size of Europe, Kangaroos, Jackaroos, Emus, Uluru and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centrepiece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest prefer to fly over it on our way to Bali.

And there's QUEENSLAND. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half-arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland, as its beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a complete mystery.

Oh yes and there's CANBERRA. The least said the better!


We, the Citizens Of Oz, are united by highways, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than murderers. We are united in our lust for international recognition. Not that we're whinging, we leave that to our Pommy immigrants.

We want to make ‘no worries mate’ our national phrase, ‘she'll be right mate’ our national attitude and Waltzing Matilda our national anthem (so what if it's about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide).

We love sport so much our news readers can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who's winning. And we're the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby, AFL, roo-shooting, two-up and horse racing.

We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, the blackest aborigines and the worst-dressed Olympians in the known universe. And our national dress code is short shorts, thongs, and the good old t-shirt!

We shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime. Even though we might seem a racist, closed-minded, sports-obsessed little people, at least we feel better for it!



P.S We also shoot and eat the two animals that are on our National Crest! No other country has this distinction! 

P.P.S. If you are one of those people who accept no imitations, you can find Tim Ferguson’s original preamble as printed in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999 here:



We also shoot and eat the two animals that are on our National Crest! No other country has this distinction! (Photo by L.J. May S/S)