Happy Australia Day to our Australian/Tasmanian friends and readers...Saving more of $$$$...


Our friend Terry (and past landlord in Penguin) sent us this beautiful photo of another seal on Sisters Beach, Tasmania where he and his wife Fran are spending time at their cabin.  Thanks, Terry!  This is quite a gem!
Today is Australia Day, a national day of celebration.  This morning while researching online for information Australia Day to share with our readers, I stumbled across this interesting article as shown below at this link (edited to fit our page):

"Australia Day 2017: What does the average Aussie really look like?

Matt Wade
        
by Matt Wade                                        
 
Numbers can paint a vivid picture of how a nation has changed.  A century ago the average Aussie was a 24-year-old male farmer. Fifty years ago it was a 29-year-old male office clerk. But today it's a 38-year-old female sales assistant.

Australia reaches population milestone

Earlier this year, statistics confirmed what we already knew, Australia's population is rapidly growing; but you might be surprised to learn which city will be our biggest by 2050.

Let's call our typical Aussie Rebecca – that was the most popular name for girls born in 1979 (it was Michael for boys).  She is married and lives with her husband and two children, a boy and a girl aged nine and six, in a stand-alone house with three bedrooms in a suburb of one of Australia's capital cities. They have a pet.

Rebecca completed year 12, has a Certificate in Business and Management and is employed as a sales assistant – the nation's most common occupation for women and men these days. She does 32 hours of paid work each week (the average is 41 hours for men) and another five hours or more unpaid work around the house. The household's annual disposable income is $88,500 (after tax). Rebecca takes five days of sick/carers leave each year and 16 days of annual leave.

Demographer Mark McCrindle estimates that Rebecca's family has lived in the house for five years and is paying off a mortgage. They have $427,847 equity in the property, which is the bulk of the family's wealth. They have another $65,880 worth of household possessions such as furniture and equipment.

Rebecca was born in Australia – despite our cultural diversity the average Australian was born here, as were both of their parents. But it's a very different story in some parts of our big cities. In Sydney's Haymarket for instance, 88 per cent of the population were born overseas.
Rebecca's household has two cars which each travel an average of 14,000 kilometres (8699 miles) a year. Over the past 40 years the share of households with two or more motor vehicles has doubled, from 26 per cent to around 54 per cent. Like 69 per cent of all commuters, Rebecca drives to work.

Despite the growing proportion of Australians with no religion, or a non-Christian religious affiliation, Rebecca is a Catholic and speaks only English at home. She has "English, Australian, Irish, or Scottish ancestry" according to the Bureau of Statistics.  Rebecca is 164cm tall (5'4") and weighs 68kg  (150 pounds). The average man is 178cm (5'8") and weighs 85kg (187)pounds. She exercises three times a week and gets 7.2 hours of sleep per night.

Rebecca can expect to live until 85.3 years – about four years more than her male counterparts.
Mr McCrindle said demographic averages shed light on Australia's collective "personality".

"These statistics show we are working hard, we are saving hard and we are juggling multiple roles," he said.

"It points to a pretty conscientious, busy nation that is just getting on with it."

View from the highway as we head back from Huonville.
This above article defines life for the average Australian, although the lives of many may vary substantially based on income and lifestyle.  In the next few days Australia's population will reach 24,000,000.

The significance of Australia Day, is described as follows from this site:

"On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.
 
Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788 (you can read a comprehensive history of the evolution of Australia Day here).

Though 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation's history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.

On Australia Day, half of the nation’s population of 24 million attend either an organised community event, or get together with family and friends with the intention of celebrating our national day. Many more spend the public holiday relaxing with family and friends.

Yet Australia Day is much more than barbeques and fireworks. It is more than another public holiday. It is more than the pride and excitement of new citizens who call themselves Australian for the first time on 26 January after being conferred citizenship.

At its core, Australia Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebrations held in each town, suburb or city – unified by the celebration of what’s great about Australia and being Australian – are the foundation of its ongoing success."
The Huon River is very wide in this area.
We're honored and excited to be here in Australia on this special day in history.  Today, we're off to the celebrations in the town of Franklin, returning tomorrow with photos. 

As to the mention in today's heading regarding our "Saving more $$$$" we're pleased that Tom's diligence in checking daily for price reductions on our already booked cruises have benefited us to such a degree.

Over this past month, the cruise from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina we've saved a total of AU $2,641, US $2,000.  We'd booked the cruise while aboard ship which provides an added opportunity for perks and yet, still allows our rep at Vacations to Go to receive full credit for the transaction.

The dock on the property here in Castle Bay Forbes on the Huon River.
To reap the benefits of these price drops, which in this case was a total of three price reductions, we contact Brooklyn/Shanon, our rep at Vacations to Go who immediately gets to work to confirm the price drop with the cruise line (Celebrity in this case) and then issue new documents at the lowest price which are promptly sent to us via email. 

During this particular price drop we were able to maintain the perks we received at the time of booking which included free Wi-Fi, paid gratuities and AU $396, US $300 cabin credit.  We're thrilled to say the least.

Our vacation/holiday home on the Huon River, as shown from the river side.  We live on the top floor with a second bedroom and en suite bath in our lower level while the owners, Anne and Rob, live on the lower level.
The skies are cloudy now but we expect it to clear by the time we head out for Franklin.  However, rain or shine, we won't miss this special event.

Have a sunny day wherever you may be both in your heart and in your skies!

_________________________________________
 
Photo from one year ago today, January 26, 2016:
Although a little tough to see with the long lashes, Mont Blanc had blue eyes.  (We fell in love with him but sadly, he eventually died). He was the "cria' that had escaped the paddock leaving us in a quandary with the owners at work.  For the rest of this story as to how he was returned to his mother, please click here.

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