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We are still collecting information on the Australia Sydney South Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Snapshot of Australia – Australia does not have an official language, though English is the de facto language. Australian English has its own unique accent and phrases. Chinese, Italian, and Arabic are also spoken by small groups. About 60% of Australia’s population is Christian, with the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches being the largest denominations. About 30% of the population does not practice any religion. Modern Australian culture has been greatly influenced by other English-speaking nations (particularly England as a result of early British colonization), though efforts have been made to preserve the Aboriginal culture as well. Immigration from other countries has made Australia into a “melting pot” nation. Australian culture tends to be very informal, and dry, ironic humor is a common theme. Loyalty to ones’ friends (“mates”) is considered an important part to Australian culture. The appeal of the Australian outback has influenced many art forms in the country, though other styles such as street art are popular in the cities. Australia has often contributed to international popular culture, through bands such as AC/DC and the Bee Gees or actors such as Hugh Jackman. Aboriginal traditions can still be seen in instruments such as the didgeridoo. Popular sports in Australia include Australian-rules football, cricket, rugby, and basketball. Cycling and skateboarding are also popular activities, especially among the youth. A wide variety of foods are available in Australia. Several varieties of fish and seafood dishes are common, and barbecuing meat is a popular practice. Popular dishes include fish and chips, hamburgers, meat pie, sausage rolls, and pavlova (a meringue dessert). Kangaroo meat is also used in some recipes. Vegemite is a popular spread in Australia.
The Church is quite strong in the Sydney area. There are 7 stakes and districts located in the Australia Sydney South Mission. As Sydney is a very multicultural area, there are also Samoan, Tongan, and Spanish-language wards located in the metropolitan area. Sydney also has a temple that was dedicated in 1984, though it lies outside the mission boundaries.
Popular foods in Australia include fish and chips, meat pies, hamburgers, and pavlova (a type of meringue cake). Kangaroo meat is also widely available to eat. Vegemite is a popular salty spread used on crackers and toast. The large number of diverse ethnic groups located in Sydney also contributes to several types of foreign cuisine being available as well, including Chinese and Polynesian foods. American restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King (known in Australia as Hungry Jacks) are also present.
Most areas in the mission use cars, though a few areas use bicycles instead. Sydney also has a public train system that includes a light rail.
Sydney has a very multicultural population, and as a result, there are many different customs and cultures among different groups. Sydney also has a large music and arts scene, hosting various arts festivals and other events throughout the year. Sydney typically has the country’s largest celebrations of Australia Day and New Year’s Eve.
Many stores in Australia close at about 6 PM. Sporting events are also quite popular in the area, with soccer, cricket, rugby, and Australian football being the most popular.
Australian English is full of its own unique slang terms that are commonly used in everyday conversation. Here are a few examples (a longer list of Sydney-area slang can be found at http://thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com/speaking-aussie-style-2/):
“flat” – apartment
“Yank” – an American
“heaps” – a lot
“couldn’t be bothered” – phrase used when someone doesn’t want to do something
“cuppa” – a hot drink
Botany Bay is a popular tourist destination located within the boundaries of the Australia Sydney South Mission, with parts of the area comprising a national park. Migrating humpback whales are sometimes seen in the area as well. Other popular sights in the Sydney area include the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Tower, and several botanical gardens and museums (not all of which are located within mission boundaries).
The capital city of Canberra is also located within the mission.
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Mortdale NSW 2223
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Straight from the Australia Sydney South Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Ranch dressing, a lot of certain sodas (particularly root beer), Oreos”
*What did you eat the most of?
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“People are very easygoing, kind and happy.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Australia Sydney North Mission?
“Immerse yourself in their culture and don’t worry about what you are leaving behind back home. People will accept your message a lot more openly when you embrace their culture and mentality rather than trying to prove that where you come from is just as good.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“How important it is to focus on Preach My Gospel and the scriptures to help me prepare – because, as great as other books are, you can take very few approved items with you so it’s better to be familiar with them than other books you can’t reference once you are in the mission field.”