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If you plan to emigrate to Australia from the UK there will be a lot to learn about your new home. Australia can seem somewhat strange to outsiders because it is so remote and different and there are lot of things that most people don’t know about it.

However, when you first arrive you might feel a bit shy and don’t want to ask too many questions – especially while getting your bearings and looking for jobs in demand in Australia. Here are some of the questions you might want to know about Australia, but are too shy to ask.

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Is Australia a Country or a Continent?

It’s a bit confusing – but Australia is both a country and a continent. The country of Australia includes the mainland island of Australia as well as Tasmania, some islands in the Torres Strait, a few islands in the Indian Ocean and some islands in the Coral Sea such as Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

The continent of Australia includes the mainland, as well as the islands of Tasmania, New Guinea, Timor and New Britain.

Why is Australia Called “Oz?”

No, it’s not because there is a yellow brick road, lion, a scarecrow or a tin man. Australia has the nickname Oz because its name is often shortened to “Aus” – the first three letters of Australia. When pronounced out loud it sounds like the spelling of the fantasy world of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.

Are Kangaroos Dangerous?

If you see a kangaroo in Australia you might be wondering whether you should steer clear of it, or if it is just a harmless creature. The truth is that kangaroos, although they are cute, can be quite aggressive creatures. There have been several kangaroo attacks in Australia in recent years which have resulted in serious injuries, which have usually occurred when kangaroos attacked humans after a confrontation with their dogs.

So what’s the best way to avoid getting attacked by a kangaroo? Try to avoid the animal and keep a safe distance away from it. Don’t walk directly towards it, hold your arms out, go between a female and her joey or let your dog approach the kangaroo. If it attacks, you should turn your body sideways to expose a narrow profile and protect your face and organs. Raise your hands and face award to keep your face from getting scratched. Do not turn your back and run, as the kangaroo will be able to hop much faster than you can run and can kick you as it hops.

If the kangaroo is a male who is displaying dominance behaviours, such as rearing up on his hind legs, shadow boxing or rubbing its chest on the ground, the best thing to do is act submissive so that the animal doesn’t consider you a threat. Crouch down, avoid eye contact and back away while letting out a low cough or grunt to admit inferiority to the dominant male.

What is Vegemite?

You’ve heard about vegemite as an iconic Australian food – but what is this spread and why is it so popular?

Vegemite is made from leftover brewer’s yeast extract, combined with various other vegetable and spice additives. It is commonly used as a spread on toast, crumpets, sandwiches and crackers and it is slightly bitter, salty, malty and “umami” in flavour.

Many newcomers to Australia try vegemite and are immediately disgusted… but sometimes this has to do with how they eat the paste. Vegemite is not meant to be consumed in large quantities or spread thickly like peanut butter or cream cheese. The layer of vegemite should be very thin – just a scraping – as it is very strong. Make sure that you give it a try when you move to Australia.

Why Is the Money In Australia Plastic?

One of the first things you will notice when you move to Australia is the fact that all of the money is made of plastic. Why is this? There are a few reasons. First of all, they last 10 times longer than paper notes- especially in the extreme climate of Australia. They cannot easily be illegally reproduced, as it is very difficult to copy their exact feel and special features such as clear windows and images that change with the angle of view. It is durable money that you can forget about in the pocket of your board shorts when you go surfing – perfect for the active outdoor Australian lifestyle.

Did you know that the plastic banknotes are recycled into compost bins and plumbing parts when they are out of circulation and shredded by the bank?

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