An update from Dr. Robert Krout, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Mary Hay/Peyton Residential Community:

Australia Day 1Australia Day is a national holiday down under and held each year on January 26. One Australian historian observed that the event has traditionally been celebrated with “merriment.” Despite its colonial associations, the occasion is still held on the day when Europeans first founded (conquered/invaded, really) the colony of New South Wales on January 26, 1788, the beginnings of what is now Sydney. Even today the event is celebrated with tall ships coming to Sydney Harbour followed by a grand array of evening fireworks.

We celebrated Australia Day in my FiR apartment on the day, with food prepared by Visiting Professor of Music History Dr. Andrew Greenwood, who is Australian. The dinner was accompanied by an Australian music playlist from Dr. Greenwood’s iPad. Dr. Greenwood prepared a variety of Aussie dishes, which were enjoyed by students, faculty (me and our FAs), and RAs and RLSH staff alike. There were a total of 31 celebrants. Dishes included Damper (“bushman’s bread,” traditionally cooked over a campfire), and Australian sausage rolls. Desserts included homemade Lamingtons and Pavlova. Some brave souls tried the damper with Vegemite.

For drink we enjoyed Bundaberg Ginger Beer (the non-alcoholic kind made with real ginger from the outback town of Bundaberg in Queensland), and Tim Tams (chocolate cookies). The salad was prepared with baby spinach, orange, goat cheese, and macadamia nut salad (macadamias are originally Australian). As can be seen by the photo, this was a great gathering. We all learned more about the day and Australian customs, food, and culture from Dr. Greenwood, who shared throughout the affair. Thanks to Professor Greenwood for a grand celebration!