Cel­e­bra­tions

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Scholarship -

For a young na­tion with a rel­a­tively small pop­u­la­tion, Australia punches above its weight when it comes to sport­ing prow­ess, in­no­va­tions and world rsts. And when one of our own takes on the world and tri­umphs, we cel­e­brate en masse in a blaze of na­tional pride, wav­ing ags and light­ing up the skies with re­works.

From roy­als to rock­ers, Aus­tralians lined the streets to wel­come in­ter­na­tional guests, sport­ing he­roes and celebri­ties. The world came to Mel­bourne for the Olympics in 1956 and wit­nessed the emer­gence of a new breed of ath­lete who dom­i­nated the swim­ming pool. Aus­tralians reeled in won­der as eight of the

13 gold medals in swim­ming were won by Australia, and the “golden girls” Dawn Fraser, Betty Cuth­bert and Shirley Strick­land cap­ti­vated the pub­lic.

Syd­ney was the nat­u­ral back­drop to many cel­e­bra­tions framed by sparkling blue wa­ter, the Opera

House and Har­bour Bridge. It was the cen­tre­piece for the 1988 Bi­cen­ten­nial, com­plete with tall ships.

The 2000 Olympics ce­mented Syd­ney’s place as an in­ter­na­tional city. From the open­ing cer­e­mony with gal­lop­ing stock­men and Nikki Web­ster ying across the packed sta­dium, to Cathy Freeman’s gold medal-win­ning 400 me­tre sprint, the Olympics were a daz­zling show­case, tak­ing a mul­ti­cul­tural Australia to the world.

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