By Ilsa Sharp
A Survival consultant to Customs and Etiquette in Australia
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Additional resources for CultureShock! Australia: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
Australian infantry battalion sent to Vietnam. Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving leader (1939–1966, except for 1941–1949), retires. Decimal currency is introduced and the metric system of weights and measures phased in. Australians vote in a referendum to abolish all forms of discrimination against the Aboriginals. 48 CultureShock! Australia 1968 1969 1972 1973 1974 1975 1979 1980 1982 Convicted gambler-thief Ronald Ryan is the last person to be hanged in Australia, for stabbing a prison warder to death when trying to escape, provoking enormously emotional public protest and street demonstrations against the sentence.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere often is one of confrontation rather than discussion. The Basics 37 The major conservationist players are the Australian Conservation, the Wilderness Society (born in Tasmania, now national), and Greenpeace, particularly active on issues like whale and dolphin protection and nuclear energy, as well as the state-based Conservation Councils. There are myriad other groups at the state and local levels, besides many less politicised nature-rambling clubs. Environmentalist politicians such as Tasmania’s Senator Bob Brown (brieﬂy calling the shots in Tasmania after the 1989 state elections) cut their teeth on a number of issues, but most notably on the Franklin River controversy of the early 1980s.
Apart from sun-block cream, it is important to wear as thick a cover of clothing as possible. Amazingly, the sight of Australian labourers toiling in the sun in bare chests and shorts, or of young boys cycling half-naked, is still commonplace. Not to mention the amount of ﬂesh exposed on Australian beaches. Ozone-depletion is a more threatening reality in Australia than elsewhere, because of its proximity to the ozone hole over the southern pole, and because the country’s classic blue skies do nothing to ﬁlter harmful rays.