My Australia: Series 2 - Episode 5

Uploaded by australianetwork on 15.05.2011

Hello, I'm Vijay Khurana - welcome to My Australia, the show about people from overseas having
Australian experiences.
On today's show
Jasmine goes mountain biking
Chloe volunteers at Adelaide's Moon Lantern Festival and
Thao ventures out into the Australian bush.
First up today, an adventure on two wheels.
The Adelaide Hills are great for mountain biking, and Jasmine and her mates are about
to find out why.
My name is Jasmine. I'm from Alor Setar, Kedah, which is the north part of Malaysia.
I grew up in a family with high expectations.
My parents worked really hard, expected us to do well in school and my mum invested a
lot in me.
She sent me for lots of classes, took part in lots of competitions, speech, singing competitions,
math, story telling, art competitions.
It was always about doing well.
I spent two years in Singapore, finishing my last two years of high school.
And then I started my journalism degree in KL before I came here.
The standard of English and the standard of journalism is much higher here compared to
back home where there's restricted freedom of the press,
so I think ... I think it prepares me better to be a journalist.
I live near to uni in a house which I share with four other people.
When I first moved in I had to get used to their routines.
I'm trying to sleep and they're making all this noise in the kitchen.
I'm like 'Ohh' but after a while you get used to it.
You go with the flow.
The best thing about living here, one minute away from uni,
is that you can always go over anytime to the computer pools which are open 24 hours
so we always go there together and do assignments until 3am, and that's fun.
I think sometimes when you feel down and you feel tired and you don't feel like doing your
assignments your housemates really help.
I think I was excited about coming to Australia but I guess one of the concerns would be about
the Australian accent
because I've met a few of my friends who have stayed here for a while and come back
and they're just ... they're just not Malaysian anymore.
They speak differently, they think differently I think.
I'm still trying to decide whether I want to become more Australianised or not.
I guess I would want to try and understand things from an Australia perspective, if there's
such a thing,
but at the same time I think I still really like where I come from, who I am and what
defines me as a Malaysian and I'd like to keep that.
Today we're cycling down Mt Lofty.
Hi, how's it going, I'm Ian.
We began our journey from the BikeSA Office in Franklin St and the weather was nice.
It was sunny and you know, I thought we would be the same up here.
But as we journeyed up the mountain, you could start to see the difference in the weather.
You could start to see the mist hanging over the mountains and I'm feeling a bit cold and
happy I brought my jacket.
The friends I have with me today are friends that I met at uni and at church.
I asked them to come along because they're fun, they love the outdoors.
One of them cycles a lot.
Awesome bike.
The other two, they don't usually cycle, so it's gonna be good exercise for all of us
We start at the summit of Mt Lofty, gives us a great chance to see the views of Adelaide
and then we ride all the way down through Cleland Conservation Park,
stopping off at the Wildlife Park to see kangaroos and koalas
and finish off in Adelaide and it's about 17 kilometres all the way.
Downhill, almost all the way.
That's good news.
Almost, not all.
Just one little climb.
Yes, I am a bit worried that it's going to be a challenge.
Firstly, has any of you guys ridden bikes like this before, mountain bikes?
No. Okay.
No. Not me.
There's just a few things I probably ought to tell you ... okay.
Hydraulic disc brakes are really good, because they work really, really well.
That does mean you have to be careful because they work really, really well.
The bike will stop very quickly, and you might not. Okay?
Umm ... I'm a bit more aware of the different things to pay attention to and the challenges
and I think I'm feeling a bit more careful.
I've been cycling since I was six.
Like, I didn't know there was a difference between a street bike and a mountain bike.
I can realise you sort of have to control the brakes and make sure you don't brake too
quickly and then you will lose your balance.
I like the outdoors but I guess sometimes life just gets busy
and you're caught up with assignments and school and I don't get to spend a lot of time
in the outdoors.
So, I'm really glad that today I can get some exercise, enjoy the trees, see some animals
It's really good.
I just didn't expect this at all.
I thought it would be biking along, you know, fairly wide, even path.
Halfway down the mountain we stopped at the Cleland Conservation Park.
So we went in and saw some animals that are natural to Australia.
It was really good fun to get close to the animals, feed them, have a feel, yeah, I really
I really enjoyed getting close to them, to meet them.
All right guys?
So now the plan is the fun bit.
So we've pretty much got the whole of the descent now to do.
And so for the next probably ten or twelve k we're just going to be riding through Cleland
Conservation Park, downhill almost all the way.
We've been working quite closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
who manage Cleland and most of the national parks in the Adelaide Hills and at the moment
mountain biking isn't allowed,
but at the moment we're running this as a bit of a test case to demonstrate that cycling
can work in the parks,
as long as it's done, you know, carefully and in a controlled manner.
Two concerns really: the spread of phytophthora, PC, which is a mould,
so the main thing that we do about that is making sure that we're cleaning the bikes
and people's shoes before we enter the parks and when we leave.
The main other concern is about interactions with other walkers and other park users.
So, we're very careful about how we manage the groups,
because if we can prove that we can ride responsibly through the parks then there's really no reason
why we shouldn't be allowed to ride these trails.
I've been really enjoying myself, more so than I ever expected.
Like, it just completely blew my expectations.
Some of the steeper slopes have been a bit scary but it's, it's a good challenge, good
I'm really loving it.
Has anyone spotted the koalas?
When I was in the park I just felt a sense of calmness and, you know,
it's not something that you would find in a busy city with lots of people and lots of
I think it was the first time all of us had done something like this and there were some
accidents on the way.
I think almost all of us fell off our bikes and one of us got the tyre punctured.
Oh, I just flew two metres off my bike.
That was pretty fun though.
I'd do it again.
Despite the injuries it's been a really good experience and I think well,
we can bring back the little cuts as experience to remember this awesome trip.
There's one here.
some spikes on me.
Super crazy.
One of the best experiences ever.
Ah! Today was awesome.
I'm glad that I only fell off once and I managed to, you know, manoeuvre through the parts
that were sort of a bit more tricky
and I'm looking forward to my next mountain biking experience.
Mountain biking looks like a lot of fun - going downhill that is!
Next up, we join Chloe as she takes part in a Moon Lantern festival.
I wouldn't know where to start when it came to making a lantern of any kind, and Chloe's
about to find out that it isn't easy!
My name is Chloe Lim. I'm from Malaysia.
I come from a family of five so I've got Mum, Dad, a younger brother and a younger sister.
Back before there was technology and stuff we would play in the parks, climb trees, yeah.
Really active, always running around.
I came to Australia to study, mainly to further my studies in university.
I chose Adelaide mainly for financial reasons coz it's most cheapest place for students
and it's conducive environment.
There are less clubs and partying around. Less night life basically.
Yeah, I've got a core group of friends.
I met them through OCF, which is Overseas Christian Fellowship, and yeah,
they are the people who I'm closer with but I've also got a separate group of friends
now that I've started playing basketball who are Australians.
The one thing which I really notice was relationships,
like you can live with someone you're not really married to and
I don't mean to be crude, but I think a lot of people sleep around
and that's something which is taboo back home in our culture
so that was something which I had to get used to, you know, with my Australian friends
and they talk about sex really freely and sex and drugs and stuff like that
which are a taboo back home and no-one really talks about it in the open.
I don't get Australian humour, that's for one.
They like making fun of people and they find it funny
and they find insults funny, so that's something different.
It's my fourth year right now but I still don't feel as if I'm local, but I'm feeling
comfortable as a foreigner living here.
I've encountered racism once when I was on a bus and this random guy started to make
fun of me in Chinese like,
just muttering Chinese words which didn't make sense
so I stood up and actually had a go at him,
which wasn't really the best choice but ... coz it actually made him insult me more.
I just got off the bus.
I don't think Australians are racist generally.
Oh, my life here is really different from back home because I think I'm more independent
I actually noticed that I have changed since coming here.
Like, I've grown up I think.
I'm making a lantern for the Moon Lantern Festival.
I have no idea of making a moon lantern.
Normally back home when we celebrate a Moon Lantern festival we buy ready-made lanterns
so today will be my first experience.
No, that looks excellent. Just leave it like that.
The lanterns that we're doing today will be used by the kids so actually the kids, they
are making their own lanterns
so that they can hold their own lanterns during the parade at the Festival itself.
I was paired up with this girl called Mahalia.
She was here with her family and her friends.
She's in year 5 and I'm in Uni so it's a bit of a different experience.
First there's the caning bit so that's where we get the structure of the lantern so put
them into a pyramid kind of shape.
Then we'll have a plate fit in the middle of the structure.
That's where the light will be.
Making the lantern was I think a lot harder than I expected.
I didn't realise there was so many opportunities for mistakes.
Getting the paper to stick without overlapping or without crumpling or without making a hole
in it.
See that hole in the side?
We just patch it up.
There's a patch for it.
Thank you.
What I enjoyed was that I was celebrating, or sort of preparing for the Moon Lantern
Festival with Australians rather than, you know,
back home, it's such a normal thing but here you see other people engaging in the activity
as well.
It was very fun.
We had a little wander through of what would be paraded on the Moon Lantern Festival itself
so we had a little sneak peak at the lanterns before they were actually displayed in public.
This would be ...
It's a cookie tin.
I don't know.
I think it's a money box.
What surprised me probably how sturdy the end product is
considering that if you look at the raw materials, a piece of paper, cane, tape, yeah,
all these put together equals the end product which is that fantastic lantern which you
get to see at the end.
I didn't know what some of the lanterns were but some were really obvious.
So we had a few guesses, but we're not sure if we're correct so we'll just wait til that
day to find out.
A few of us international students are just volunteering with the event.
Obviously, Moon Lantern Festival is something we celebrate back home.
Even though I don't really understand the history and the reason behind celebrating
I think it's just tradition which has been passed on from my grandparents to my parents
and we light up our lanterns, we'll eat moon cakes.
We light up candles, that's basically what it is.
More about the reunion.
Yeah there are a lot more things than I expected like a lot more stalls.
I expected lanterns which there is and I was kind of surprised at the performances.
Some were done by Chinese where the Moon Lantern Festival culture comes from
but I was quite shocked that there were Aussies doing it, Aussies performing the dances and
drums as well.
I think Australians would be interested in this because it's something not common to
them, and it's a different cultural experience I suppose.
I've seen quite a few people that I know today.
It doesn't really surprise me because most of them are either from my home country or
countries which I know celebrate the Moon Lantern Festival.
I haven't really seen much of my Australian friends here yet.
There's gonna be a lantern parade happening later.
I'm excited about carrying a lantern.
It's a bit cold but embracing it.
We had to really focus ahead because you can't really move round because it's such a big
thing to manoeuvre.
I think it was quite light on me because the guy behind me was really tall.
He was carrying most of the weight.
I was just holding it, most of the time.
The lanterns are a bit different in terms of size.
I've never really seen lanterns built on such a big scale before.
Yeah, there were a lot of little kids here carrying lanterns which obviously they did
it in school and they're coming together as a school.
I think that's really different because you don't have that at home.
I think this festival is definitely a good opportunity for people to learn more about
different cultures,
a good opportunity for us to display what our roots are.
Ah yes, it does make me proud of my culture.
I don't really feel homesick, because it's a totally different experience.
It was a really enjoyable evening.
I had lots of fun doing lots of various stuff, seeing lots of different things from drumming
to origami to carrying that lantern.
It's a bit cold now so I would like to sit down and have a moon cake.
A great experience, being able to share an Asian tradition with Aussie people.
After the break, we join Thao as she goes walkabout with an Aboriginal guide
and we find out what some people think about bushwalking.
See you soon.
Hi guys.
I wanted to ask you about bushwalking.
Where's the best place you've ever gone bushwalking?
King's Canyon.
Okay, what's so great about it?
It's in the middle of nowhere.
Wilson's Prom down in Victoria.
Okay, describe that to me. What's it like?
Oh, it's just some of the most pristine lovely beaches you can get out there because the
only way to get there is to walk in at least ten kilometres.
You can't drive there.
When I went to the Blue Mountains, it's like a, I remember when I was up there,
it's a very hot day but I just very enjoyed it and, you know, I feel fresh air and relaxing.
What do you like about bushwalking?
Just seeing the animals and hearing the sounds.
I just love the nature.
Because you get to climb rocks and stuff.
Uh huh. And where do you usually go bushwalking?
In the forest or wood.
Personally, I love bushwalking. I've always got mud on my boots from the last trek.
Let's join Thao as she heads out into the wild.
My name's Thao and I'm from Vietnam and I came here when I was 17.
I have one brother and I live with my parents and my grand mum back in Vietnam.
What attracted me about Australia is environment here is really peaceful and is quite clean.
I study environmental science but then I change my major to chemistry and my graduation was
in May 2010.
The best thing about living in Australia is that you've been close to the Earth, close
to the sky.
And you're between Earth and Heaven.
I don't know it's something different that I guess, especially when you go the beach
you can't see any border between the sky and the sea.
You feel something of the same colour.
I'm going to tour in the Blue Mountains.
I'm excited about it, have never, ever met any Aboriginal born here so it's quite exciting.
It's kind of activities into Aboriginal's food, Aboriginal story about the culture of
- I mean Aboriginal culture of Australia.
Hello. Welcome.
I'm Thao.
Hi Thao, Evan.
Nice to meet you.
Welcome to Walkabout.
Yeah, thank you.
And these guys? What's your name?
Okay, so we're going walkabout for the day.
Walkabout was the completion of your initiation.
Well, basically, initiations were based on what woman, the changes that women go through
which is menstruation, pregnancy childbirth, and menopause,
and death, which we all have to go through.
The thing about walkabout was that it was testing your ability of spirit really and
there was many different challenges along the way.
It's slippery as well.
It's slippery.
So, I just wanna show you a bit of bush tucker round here.
Like this?
Oh, it's like, you know, orange and the thing.
Yeah, and grapefruit.
Not sure you care to try it, it's good.
Back in 1788, when the First Fleet arrived, smallpox came with them, that disease,
and wiped out over half our population within two years.
And war was declared by the British on the Darug language group people,
so we only have descendents of Darug people alive today and like myself we all have lighter
coloured skin now.
So, this one is the flower from the banksia, deluxe quality hair brush.
And then want you to roll up each piece and insert a piece up each nostril.
Now you'll find it's very good for clearing your breathing because there's menthol in
the eucalyptus leaf.
It's quite fresh feeling,
Like you know, you ate Mentos or something.
Now, we're gonna visit that sacred site now, and I'll share with you the whole story,
and then allow you to come out onto the site, get close to the spirits that are there.
Yeah, we probably won't feel them.
I think it's too sensitive.
Actually who made it, like who made it?
Who made it?
It was a kuradji, clever person or spirit.
They make it when they witness ... when they connect to Dream-time, through ritual.
They witness a spiritual event so they're always spirits, these engravings.
Never, never are they just art.
So, in this cave you can see the spirit of that rainbow serpent where she's been.
You can see all them holes are through the rock and you can see where she is with those
rainbow formations.
So an important place which you can enjoy.
So, you can relax with the web.
No, I'm not scared.
You're not scared?
No, you're pretty good like that.
Watch those tree roots. They're really slippery.
Come down this way.
Careful, it's slippery.
No slipping this time.
Shouldn't have slipped there.
So that's the dragon lizard and we call that one bidjiwong.
They grow to twice that big and they're good bush tucker.
So this vine here, the leaf is bush tucker. It's bush chewing gum.
It tastes like liquorice so you might like this one. You should get a liquorice flavour.
Like it's a bush swing so you can have a play on it if you want to.
What d'ya think Thao?
It's cool!
Bush swing, well, that's what we used to do for fun.
Beautiful right. Rewarding.
Believe it or not I have never been to a waterfall before.
I mean I've never tried a waterfall before like showering or swimming in waterfall, so
it's really, I'm very excited.
The dots represent a journey, a lot of dots close together, long journey.
You can feel free to use any of those symbols you like.
Oh yeah. I'm really excited to get some paint on my face.
Oh My God, I'm so excited.
Yeah, Evan is really good guy.
I learned a lot from him, like about passion, and about spirituality
and how we have to care more about the plant, the environment, the animals and everything
around like brother and sister.
So that's a really good lesson.
Good stuff Thao. An amazing walk and a great way to learn more about Australia's indigenous
Well, that's it for My Australia today.
Here's what's coming up next week.
Suhasini spends the day on a farm,
Gustave makes a video for YouTube
and Tiara performs at a gay and lesbian community Arts festival.
See you then.