Glossary of Australian Terms for 'In and Out of Step'
The Australian Bicentennial occurred in 1988. The novel is set between 1988-1990.
anti-Metherell campaign: teachers’ union protests against the changes to the New South Wales (NSW) state school education system introduced by the then NSW Liberal Minister for Education, Terry Metherell.
arvo is Australian slang for afternoon.
BHP (today known as BHP Billiton) is a global mining group that includes steelworks such as those based in Wollongong south of Sydney. In Australia, it is the top producer of iron ore and coal (thermal and metallurgical).
bloke is Australian slang and means an ordinary man
chook an Australian term for chicken; sometimes it is used as an endearing nickname . Often nicknames suggest a metaphoric clue to the person’s appearance or behaviour.
CWA is an abbreviation for the Country Women's Association. It is a non-profit, non-party political, and non-sectarian organisation for country and city women. Members work for the welfare of all women and children through representation to all levels of government, undertaking fundraising events, providing networking opportunities and teaching life skills.
dux is Latin for leader. It is the title given to the student with the highest overall academic score in the graduating year (Year 12) of high school. The American equivalent is valedictorian.fella - an informal word for a male that is not age specific. It can also be used as universal term for either gender.
Esky is used in Australia as a generic name, it more correctly is a trademark owned by Coleman Brands Pty Ltd and which specifically identifies an Esky brand name portable icebox cooler.
Federation refers to the process by which the six separate self-governing British colonies of New South wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia formally joined together to form one nation, Australia, in 1901. http://youtu.be/tjlj3KKKAlA
Federation architecture is the style prevalent in Australia in 1901. A limited range of colour schemes were used prior to WWII because of the narrow range of pigments in paint.
fella is an informal word for a male that is not age specific. It can also be used as universal term for either gender.
H.E.C.S is short for Higher Education Contribution Scheme. It is an interest-free federal government loan to Australian students who attend Australian tertiary education institutions and pays for their university fees. It is repaid through the Australian tax system when a student’s study is completed. Repayment begins when the student's taxable income reaches a set level post study.
HG and Roy are a comedy team whose parody of sport commentary gained them a wide fan base and popularity across Australia. http://youtu.be/wY9aBjste5E
The Herald (also known as the Sydney Morning Herald or the Saturday Herald/Sunday Herald) is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia. It is a supersized broadsheet.
HSC is an abbreviation for the Higher School Certificate that is the highest award in secondary education in New South Wales. To be eligible for the award, students must complete Years 11 and 12, satisfy HSC course requirements and sit for state-wide HSC examinations in their chosen subjects.
‘MASH’ was a novel by Richard Hooker, later a feature film, and then a long running American TV series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M*A*S*H_(TV_series)
The MASH trophy as used in 'In and Out of Step' is a parody of the above image combined with the two fingered gesture. The two fingered gesture is regarded as an insult in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and the United Kingdom as it means, “F*** off”. It is used ironically by the English staff at Keimera High.
mate is used when a person is trying to achieve some kind of rapport. Anyone can be a mate.
The Melbourne Cup is the premier thoroughbred horse-racing event in Australia held on the first Tuesday in November each year. It is widely known as 'the race that stops the nation.'
Minties is an Australian iconic brand. It refers to a white, chewy, square mint-flavoured lolly in a wrapper (candy). A long running and very successful advertising campaign linked a wide range of everyday experiences (good and bad) with the catch phrase, 'It's moment like these, you need Minties.' After viewing the attached link, overseas readers may better appreciate the embedded joke on page 193 of ‘In and Out of Step’. http://youtu.be/pFF3KNJH6JY
Mungo Jerry was an English rock group See http://youtu.be/yG0oBPtyNb0
nong is Australian slang and is used as a mild and/or endearing insult. It means a bit of a twit, or idiot.
Persephone (the daughter of Demeter) was stolen by Hades (King of the Underworld). This Greek myth explains the origin of the seasons. Links that give you more information:
Port Kembla is a major seaport south of Sydney NSW that was established in the late 1890's to facilitate the export of coal from the mines of the Illawarra region. Major steel works were subsequently established in the area. It is very close to Wollongong.
RSL is an abbreviation for Returned Services League. Anyone who served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is eligible for full membership. The RSL provides vital advocacy services and support for all current and ex-serving ADF personnel as well as a club where people can meet and socialise. Civilians are also able to join.
A sloppy joe is an Australian term for a sweatshirt, windcheater, sweater or sweats.
A squatter’s chair looks like
The sword of Damocles is an allusion to a legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles) and is used in 'In and Out of Step' by Paul Selton to comment on Talbut's precarious situation and the dangerous nature of the 'game' that he plays. It suggests impending danger.
TAFE is an abbreviation for Technical and Further Education. TAFE provides students over sixteen years with an alternative pathway to study that includes vocational courses as well as traineeships for industry and Defence. The learning and social environments are very different to that found in high schools. TAFE also provides night courses for mature aged students returning to study who did not graduate from high school.
toey is Australian slang and means being on edge or excited or nervous.
trackie-daks are the bottom half of the tracksuit, not the whole. The whole tracksuit is the trackie. A tracksuit (made from stretch material or velour) is very commonly worn in Australia.
tunnel has two meanings. Literally, it is a passage, often underground. In Australian surfers' slang, tunnel is used derogatorily to refer to a woman; it reduces a woman's value to her vagina.
‘Sway’ at the end of the novel is how I visualise the relationship between Cassie and her mate. Ideally, the final scene would have closed on the lyrics but copyright costs were too high to do so. http://youtu.be/JFUop0g8hDo
Wee Waa is a small town in northern NSW and has become Australia's major cotton growing area http://www.weewaa.com/Document1.aspx?id=217
A whiteboard is a name for a glossy, usually white surface. It replaced blackboards in Australian classrooms. Erasable non-permanent markers are used on it instead of chalk. As a matter of interest, in 2011, Smartboards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Board have replaced whiteboards in many Australian schools.
The fictional township of Keimera is a composite of three NSW towns. Below are scenes from one of those towns.