A long time ago there was a land without a name. Many people lived on the land and they had names for places, animals and other things, they called a big rock Uluru, they called a big animal Kangaroo and they called other things Didgeridoo, Jabaru and Woolloomooloo, but they did not give a name to the whole land.
The people lived there for thousands of years. They hunted Kangaroo and other animals, made music from wooden instruments and crafted boats in which they travelled to other islands around the land without a name. They told stories, drew pictures on rocks and fished for turtles.
One day some big boats came to their place. They were bigger than any boats they had ever made, seen or imagined. On the boats were many people. Some of the men were dressed in funny hats and had curly hair like women. Others were dirty and hairy and were chained like animals. Even the women and children acted strangely, speaking in an odd language that none of the people in the land without a name had ever heard before.
The new people decided that they liked the land without a name and unloaded their boats and built houses and farms. This upset some of the people who had been there before, as they also liked to use the land for hunting, dancing and visiting. When they told the new people this they became angry and violent and said,
‘Fuck off Abo, this is Australia now, we’ll give you some government benefits in 200 years to make up for it, ok? Here, have a beer mate,’
The man took the thing called beer and drank it like he was showed. It tasted strange, but made him feel happy. It was good to feel happy he thought, because since the new people came he had developed a nasty cough, had a sore chest and could not see so well. After he finished the beer the new people gave him more, enough for his whole village to drink. They handed him a box and told him ‘Fuck off,’ again. He took the beer back to his village, shared it with his family and friends and told them of the new words he had learned. Soon after, many of the villagers also developed a cough, sore chest, poor eyesight, diabetes or alcoholism and got sick or died.
As the years passed more and more of the new people came to the land without a name. They all spoke the same odd language, wore strange clothes and were mean to the people who were there before them.
One day, in a place the new people called Ballarat, one of them found something in the ground they called gold. They were happy when they found this and soon more new people came to search for the gold too. Many of the next new people were different again. They wore triangular hats made of cane, spoke another odd language and ate their food with sticks. The first new people did not like these second new people coming to find the gold. They were mean to them and there were many fights between the two groups.
By then, the land without a name had a name. It was Australia. But the new people had strange ceremonies and did not want to call the land Australia just yet. They wanted to wait until the year 1901 when somebody called the King of England would come to visit. There were also many other names that the new people used, like Victoria, New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. The new people told stories that the people from Van Diemen’s Land were born with two heads and married their cousins, but before the new people came nobody had ever seen that.
To pass time before the King of England arrived, the new people invented a game called football. They dressed in colourful clothing and passed and kicked a ball around a big field with posts at each end. The game became popular all across the land.
Soon after being called Australia, there was a big war in a place called Europe. Because the land of Australia belonged to something called the British Empire, many people from Australia had to go and fight in a place called Gallipoli. The new people called them Anzacs, the people who were there before them thought it was strange to name their soldiers after biscuits.
Many people died in the big war, including Australians. After the war, there were more troubles with the new people in the land called Australia, because of something called a depression and then another war, which was even bigger than the first one. The people who were in Australia before the new people wondered why they had to fight so much.
Finally, when all the wars and depressions had finished there was peace. There were also many more new people coming to Australia, mostly from Europe, where the big wars were. They brought with them strange new foods called gnocchi, spaghetti and haloumi. The first new people called these next new people Wogs, but they did not like this. The people who were there before them all, wondered why the first new people kept letting others come to their land who they did not like. It was confusing.
As the years passed the first new people and the people they called Wogs seemed to make friends. The new people also did something called a referendum which made it ok to call the people who were there before everyone else, human, or Aborigines, which was now their name. The Aborigines were happy about this, but many new people still told them, ‘Fuck off Abo,’
Even more new people came to Australia after this. They looked the same as the second new people, the ones who came to search for gold, but they were different. Many of the first new people did not like these new people either, but they let them come anyway, because there was a war in their land. These new people had many things to learn about the land called Australia. They were taught about the Anzacs from the war, a food called Vegemite, which the new people put on bread, someone called ‘the Don’ who was a good cricket player and a man called Ned Kelly, who wore a metal mask and killed some police in Victoria.
Two hundred years after the first new people arrived in Australia, they held a big party to celebrate. Some of the people who were in Australia before them did not like the idea of a party, because of the many problems the new people had bought to the land. But by then the new people far outnumbered the people before them, and they had the party anyway. There was an even bigger party soon after, to celebrate something called the Olympics, which was coming to Australia. The Olympics made a lot of people in Australia feel something the new people called ‘patriotic’, the people who were in Australia before them felt it when one of their own won a big prize, made of gold.
After many years of parties, some more new people wanted to come to Australia, but they had trouble getting in. They also came by boats, just like all the other people and they also came because there was a war in their land, just like all the other people. There was, and still is, a big fight between the first new people, about whether these next new people should be allowed to come. Many of the first new people think there are enough new people in Australia, while others think there should be more. Just like all the other times, nobody has asked the people who were there before them all what they think.
And that is how the country got its tale.