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Hunter invited to join Straya’s Slang Legend comp

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Australia Day Ambassador and long-time Getaway presenter Catriona Rowntree believes the further rural you travel, the stronger Aussie slang gets.

“As a city chick who married a country boy, I needed a whole new dictionary when we first started dating.”

Having travelled the country and the globe with the popular travel show for more than 25 years, the mother-of-two is now lending a hand to a new campaign calling on Hunter residents to share their favourite lingo in the new Straya’s Slang Legend competition.

The eight-week competition, which closes on Australia Day 2022, is a chance for the country’s citizens to showcase their creativity and larrikinism via a national video campaign.

By submitting a 60-second video performance of an original song, poem or rap using Aussie slang from the Aussie Slang Dictionary, entrants will have the chance to win a “cracker” of a prize – a four-night P&O cruise for four people, departing from any Australian port (can be used in 2022 or 2023). 

The competition is the brainchild of The Australia Day Council of NSW.

Touted as a language as diverse as the country itself, Aussie slang, the council says, ‘is a shared way of speaking that unites us in solidarity, forges new friendships, brings forth the larrikin spirit and helps shape what it means to be Australian’. 

‘Everyone is encouraged to have a crack at the competition. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in Australia your whole life (in the big smoke or the middle of woop woop) – or just landed on these sunny shores, you’re invited to get creative with the droll and often off-beat Aussie slang, which is seriously confusing to foreigners but an important part of our knockabout ways’. 

Shortlisted 60-second video performances will be judged by a celebrity panel including Australia Day Creative Director John Foreman OAM, Aussie singer-songwriter Dami Im, TV personality and Australia Day Ambassador Catriona Rowntree and Australia Day Live broadcast host Jeremy Fernandez. 

John Foreman said Straya’s Slang Legend is a chance to have some fun after a tough year of lockdowns and to get creative with the nation’s unique lingo.

“Aussie humour helps us navigate challenging times and our unique lingo most certainly sets us apart from the rest of the world. Have a look at the Aussie Dictionary and have a laugh. Now is the perfect time to create your linguistic masterpiece and make the judges sit up and take notice of your talent and sense of humour in the lead up to Australia Day 2022.” 

For Dami Im, who came to Australia from Korea at the age of seven, learning and laughing at Aussie Slang phrases is an ongoing education.

“To think ‘Bee’s Knees’ means something of high quality, is hilarious. And driving to ‘woop woop’ means a long way away. 

“It’s true, Aussie slang can be seriously confusing to foreigners or newbies, but it’s a fun learning curve getting your head around our unique dialect and bonding with others over a laugh,” she said. 

Much-loved Australia Day Ambassador Catriona Rowntree says after 25 years’ travelling the world with Getaway and marrying a true-blue Aussie farmer, she’s learnt a lot of Aussie phrases and appreciates the unique role of slang in the local vernacular. 

“Australian lingo is fantastic and funny – and the more rural you go, the stronger the slang gets. 

“No matter where I’ve travelled around Australia and the world, our Aussie lingo always gets a giggle. It’s time to have a good belly laugh – so get cracking on your masterpiece.”

TV presenter and Australia Day Live broadcast host, Jeremy Ferandez is looking forward to seeing the slang creations entered. 

“To me, Aussie slang is like an embrace, an unadorned truth, or verbal shortcut – wrapped in a mysterious code,” Jeremy said. “I was a child when my family moved to Australia, and I remember wondering if I’d ever get the hang of ‘sounding’ Australian – if I could never grasp Aussie slang.”

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