Did you know it took 150 years for Australia Day to be named, and that it wasn’t always held on January 26th? The first time it was indeed celebrated on July 30th, 1915 to raise funds for the World War I effort, a very important occasion to remember, as it was about protecting the values which we Australians still hold so dear, like freedom, acceptance of others and (my favourite) the belief that we should all be given a fair go!
More than 100 years later, Australia Day is still about bringing people together to celebrate important values and pastimes of our own culture. It is for all Australians, no matter where their origins are from or how many generations they’ve called this country home, “to celebrate contemporary Australia and recognise our history”. It’s probably a day off work for many, and the perfect time to get together with family and mates for a backyard BBQ or a day out at the beach.
As a designer, Australia Day also includes for me celebrating Australian Made products and supporting local businesses, as these two things are a big part of what makes our country great. And there are many reasons for choosing Australian-made products, such as:
Quality - Australian made products have to adhere to strict guidelines and quality standards, ensuring they are built to last. They also come with reliable warranties and guarantees of workmanship.
Economy - Purchasing Australian made products helps to support local jobs and our economic development, which then has a positive flow-on impact on communities and families all around the country.
Working Conditions - Australia is proud to have some of the safest and effectively monitored working conditions in the world, so you can ensure the workers who have made your products have been treated and paid fairly.
Environmentally Friendly - Australian made suppliers must follow strict environmental protection policies throughout the manufacture process. Buying Australian made also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it lowers the number of products shipped and transported from overseas
Click here to find a list of Australian Designers and Makers I have interviewed recently.
So, whilst you're entertaining outdoors this Australia Day, have a look around your backyard, alfresco or balcony: check out what you’re eating and drinking from and consider just how much more fun and environmentally friendly it could be with some Aussie owned and Aussie manufactured furniture, home wares and décor. As investing in quality is always a wise choice, when you purchase pieces that are specifically created and designed for the Australian weather and lifestyle, you’ll be able to relax and feel that little bit better, as you enjoy the great outdoors for many years to come.
Wherever we're going to be this Australia Day, let’s not forget to be grateful of being part of this great country of ours, and above all let's make time to remember the history of this day and the values it represents...
Learn more on Australia Day here.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.