VC's Update - The Australian National Dictionary, Open Day

26 August 2016

Good afternoon,

A huge congratulations to The Australian National Dictionary Centre who this week launched the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary adding an astounding 6,000 new Aussie words and phrases, including words from 100 Indigenous languages. The second edition is the first comprehensive update of the Australian National Dictionary since 1988. It now has definitions and the history of 16,000 words and phrases unique to Australia.

I must confess that while I was unfamiliar with a number of the new terms, I'm told that people around the country over their 'babyccinos', 'chicko rolls' and 'dagwood dogs' have been testing and trying out their Aussie slang all week. There are some obvious classics like 'I don't know if I'm Arthur or Martha', 'your blood's worth bottling', 'carry on like a pork chop', and 'couldn't run a chook raffle'. The terms 'bogan', 'grey nomad' and 'chardonnay socialist' have been included as well. And if you're a 'Canberran' who's worn a pair of 'budgie smugglers' or made a 'captain's pick' you may just 'help keep the bastards honest'.

I had to check the meaning of some of the lesser known terms like 'goose club', 'double-cut roll', 'yaffler' and please don't ask me about 'rurosexual'. If you want to know how well you speak Australian try the New York Times Quiz.

On a more serious note, you may have read an article in one of the major newspapers during the week that was highly critical of a number of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants that had been awarded to Australian universities. In addition to ARC grants being highly competitive and peer reviewed, I thought the grants named in the report looked like interesting research that I am personally proud we are doing. Research conducted at ANU whether in the sciences, arts or humanities plays an important role in advancing our knowledge of ourselves, our communities and our world.

Finally, tomorrow we throw open our doors and invite a new group of interested and engaged students and their families to campus. It's a tremendously exciting day for everyone and I hope the energy, enthusiasm and passion we all have for this place shines through tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who has worked on putting together this year's Open Day and, in advance, thank everyone who will be here tomorrow to show next year's students that there is simply no better University than ANU.

So excuse me if I carry on like a pork chop, this one's going straight to the pool room.

Have a great weekend and enjoy Open Day.

Brian