- June: Queens and sales
What does this mean? That exactly like in many other countries, workers at the end of this month are reimbursed a percentage of the taxes paid during the course of the financial year (and believe me, they are really a lot of money) and therefore this occurrence entices consumers to spend and to seriously help the economy that, especially post-Covid 19, is suffering a big blow.
June in Australia is also the month of sales and consequently the two things I mentioned combined mean...shopping!
Flawless, right? Refunds = money = sales = shopping!
If you walk around Sydney’s main shopping areas during these days between the end of June and the beginning of July, it seems to be under the Christmas period, we are constantly bombarded with advertising of children's games and any other possible gifts and outfits on sale.
Shopkeepers sell their products with discounts from 30% up to 70%. Even car dealers offer significant reductions in the final price on the sale of new cars – a market which is particularly struggling right now.
And could I have not taken advantage of this opportunity? Of course not. No, I didn't buy a new car (for now), but I did some shopping, taking advantage of some great deals.
Worth mentioning it is also that in Australia, every year, we don't work on the second Monday of June because it is a national holiday as we celebrate the Queen's birthday. Queen Elizabeth turned 94 this year. Actually, the real birthday had already passed as it was in April but, in Australia, it is celebrated with a few months of delay. The Queen, in fact, was born on April 21, 1926, the day on which she is celebrated in England. But in the other 16 countries that are part of the Commonwealth her birthday falls on completely different dates, as in the case of Australia. In all OZ states the day is celebrated on June 13, 2016, except in Western Australia where it is celebrated in September and Queensland where it falls in October. Don’t ask me why because it seems to be so random.
On that day, people celebrate the British sovereign who has been in office since 1952 and who is considered the second longest running queen in history. In fact, in the first place was that of Queen Victoria worthy of her title for 63 years.
Queen Elizabeth II continues to be the Queen of Australia, after a referendum in 1999 decreed the maintenance of the constitutional monarchy in Australia and Australians are pretty fanatic about the monarchy even though the United Kingdom is so far (both geographically and culturally) from Australia.
Many Australians have a day off for the Queen's birthday and, therefore, for many, it is a possibility to organize something with their family and take a short trip by taking advantage of the three-day weekend or some others prefer to attend a sporting event. In Melbourne they usually play an Australian Football League game between the two historic rivals Collingwood Magpies and Melbourne Demons.
It is also traditionally considered to be the opening weekend of the snow season in Australia, although it is often necessary to wait a few weeks before the snow takes root.
It is in fact the official start of the winter season not only in Victoria, but also in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
Schools, post offices and other organizations are closed and public transport services may be reduced. Many stores may have limited opening hours but some supermarkets are always open to provide last minute products to those who organize barbecues for this occasion.