Australians have come to be known for many stereotypical things: throwing another shrimp on the barbie, binge drinking Fosters, and celebrating their convict ancestors. While some parts of the Australians’ reputation are rooted in fact, many are outdated and misleading. Read on to discover the truth about 7 dumb myths you probably believe about Australia.
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It’s All a Desert Wasteland
Although the Outback makes up the largest part of the Australian landmass, it isn’t the only ecosystem on the island. Australia is full of tropical rainforests, mountain ranges, and coastal areas. The bulk of Australia’s population is concentrated in the major cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth, but there are over 600,000 people that call the vast desert area in the center of Australia home. Many of the inhabitants of the Outback are Indigenous Australians, who have lived in this area for centuries and make huge sacrifices in order to raise their family in their ancestral home.
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All of Their Ancestors Were Convicts
When the first settlers arrived in the 18th century, the found a land populated with Indigenous Australians: a group of people who survived by hunting and gathering. Now, 2.4% of the Australian population self-identifies as “Indigenous.” The majority trace their ancestors back to settlement groups from England, who began settling the land in 1783. Although some of the settlers were shipped over from England in convict transports, many of them were intrepid explorers who settled in a new land of their own free will.
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They All Drink All the Time
This may have been true… in 1831. Many of the first convict settlers in Australia were paid with rum, which was not really that unusual at the time. The water may not have been safe to drink, so the settlers drank either ale, wine, or pure spirits. In the 1830s, Australians drank about 4 gallons of alcohol per person per year. Now, Australians each drink about 3 gallons of alcohol a year, only slightly higher than the worldwide average.