2010.10.29 (updated : 2021.06.30)

Thanks to my Oma, who had to prove to the Nazi government that my Opa was not Jewish, I have a substantial block of genealogical data for my Opa's family. Sadly, I don't have such information for my Oma's family. Because I lost it, to my shame: the only thing I've ever really regretted losing. Happily, I have quite a bit of information about my mother's family because her father compiled quite a lot of dates and names over the years. Some day I'll work out how to put this all online in a cogent fashion.

Here are some articles my family has unearthed during our genealogy research. The family names include Werneburg, Johnston, Hunte, Blott, MacKenzie, Mainzer, Fretz....

Neil MacKenzie 1821-1921

This is a newspaper article about Neil MacKenzie, a hard-working pioneer ancestor. Think you have it tough? Read on....

leave a comment

By submitting this form you agree to the privacy terms.


Should have included the word Root (S) especially because of the laugh that Aussies get when they see some mad Canadian wandering around Oz proudly wearing a ROOTS shirt!

2003.03.26 00:00:00

Thanks, Nicole. That never occurred to me. IIRC, both the Canadian and US teams went to 'Stralia with 'roots' brand clothing in 2000!



Dear Micheal,

Thank you so much for your pages about Oz. I am Canadian and my boyfriend is Australian, we had a great laugh at your Aussie words. haha. Anyways, I am trying to go to Austrlia next year to work. You said that the IT industry was easy to get a job with. I was wondering when you went? What kind of qualifications did you need? Is it true that you can only work for 3 months at one job with the WH visa? I really appreciate your help.



Erin Crowe
2004.01.15 00:00:00

I hope you got my email, Erin.

In short, I think in your case (esp with the Aussie boyfriend in tow) you'll be fine turning up on a tourist visa.


Web Site

Just wanted to say thank you for putting up your web site. I read and looked at just about everything you had on OZ, and I found it entertaining and informative. I like your writing style as well. Your site is one of the best ones I have found with regards to what Canadians can expect when they visit or work in Australia. You've done a fine job.

2003.05.07 00:00:00

Thanks for your comments. It was my pleasure to do so.


Probably moving to Sydney

Hey there...great page! I'm from Toronto and my husband is from Sydney and we currently reside in Las Vegas (pity sucks beyond words). But we've had it and are seriously looking into up and moving to Oz in about a year or so.

So I've been surfing around looking for precisely your kind of info and advice for Canadians going to Sydney. I already knew a lot of what I read here because we visited for 6 weeks in 2000, but it's a good refresher and there were definitely things I didn't know. So thanks!

Mind you, I'm well aware of the whole "roots" thing and I, for one, find it quite amusing to wear Roots Canada gear in Australia. It's even got the extra entendre of a beaver (not that Aussies seem know of that particular sexual slang). :)

I sent your translation page to my hubby and in-laws so maybe they'll learn to decode what I'm saying!


-- Kimberly Chapman

Kimberly Chapman
2004.02.02 00:00:00

Thanks for your comments, Kimberly. Good luck with the move!



Sorry but as a working class Englishman, im sick of the ozzie attitude towards my fellow country men. Pommie this and pommie old is that! You Canadians however are the friendliest people i have ever should be proud ..unlike the Ozzies you DO have a great country...and no chip on your shoulders like the "okkas". Sooner Oz becomes a republic...the better!

Carl T
2003.10.10 00:00:00

Not sure what 'okkas' refers to, but I've found quite a bit of friction between the Aussies and Brits. I suspect the Aussie snobbery to the UK comes from their ancestors having been booted out over often trivial matters.


Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

There's a story behind that chant.

One of the SOCOG members (Sydney Olympics Committee), who was seen to be an up-himself twat, was asked in a doorstop interview outside a hotel or somesuch whether he knew of any chants or supporters songs. He replied that whatever happened, he hoped it wasn't something like "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!".

Australians will do anything to spite an elitist pratt.

2003.12.13 00:00:00

Hmmm! Great story, that.

I never saw that, while down there. All I got was the incessant chanting. I liked Australia, but that chant really gets under your skin after a while.


victoria, melbourne

how's it g'arn

what da ya mean victorians are snobs?

if you ask most australians that have lived, or visted, both melbourne and sydney, they will probably tell ya that melbournians are heaps nicer than people from sydney.

we aint that english either, we've just got more culture than sydney (theres that rivalry ya talkin 'bout), melbourne is the the most strong representer of non-stereotypical aussie culture, and some of it is very unique like aussie hip hop(only connection to america is the words 'hip' and 'hop', here the similarites end) and other such things. we are a lot more multicultural than sydney, and that backwards racial, and sexual view that you talked about, is alot more blured in melbourne, it aint such a big deal. melbourne is often neglected in the area of tourism, 'cause we get 4 seasons in one day, and don't have beautiful sunshine all the time. but if ya thinking of coming to australia, you should check the place out (it's a very different place to sydney), might give ya an insight into the fact that not all aussies (in fact very few) are red necked, crocodile wrestling, ignorant, morons who don't know anything.

catch ya later

2003.12.18 00:00:00

Wha? Where does it say that Melbournite are snobs? I liked Melbourne, and I liked Sydney. I think if I were heading to Australia again, I'd probably choose Melbourne, but that's mostly cause I've "done" Sydney....



it's so good to see a webpage like this. as, for canadians, like me. i love it there in australia. friendly people(like here), beautiful places (like here), perfect weather ( not so quite like here) but, basically,we are similar.

2004.01.09 00:00:00

We are, it's true.


Aussies too laid back

I am tripping to Canada in a couple of months. Having worked in the U.S. i noticed a huge difference in that Americans all turn up to appointments. One third of all appointments in Australia (in my business) just won't turn up. Of those that do a good number will come with no money and an excuse asking to pay at another time. I think that this is because being a socialist country we have bred the attitude of everything should be free. Whatever it can be frustrating.

Having said that Australia seems to have a much higher level of culture than America. Better coffee, food and so on and also a lot cleaner. Also Australians seem a lot better skilled at what they do than the Americans. I think this is because Aussies think on their feet where as Americans learn what they need to know inside and out but not more and not less.

What are Canadiand like for keeping appointments?


Chris Fawkes
2004.04.09 00:00:00

Have a great trip in Canada!

Canadians and appointments, what can I say. Sometimes I think Canadians need queues and appointments or they collapse in a panic.




i am 15 and live on the beautiful northern beaches of sydney. i work at a boat hire place on pittwater. people from all over the world come to hire the run-about boats. i meet all of them and i have to say that the canadians are the most friendly of em all. When they go fishing they always return the boats clean, unlike some. They are always the most cheery and happy people. When i speek to them they are always positive and love our surf culture and how everything is so relaxed. The only thing that is strange is they have no understanding of our sense of humour.

I have been to the loss angeles, new york and Hawaii. I have met so many americans and they are the most stupid people on earth. They have no cencept of the out side world and believe america is so great and powerfull. One mum in a spa in hawaii thought that australia was a country in Europe. I could have slapped her. Canadians and aussies are similar in that they both know there is a world out there besides their own and they go out an explore it. Also the main sport in australia is rugby union, not AFL that is for sissys.

nick h
2004.06.04 00:00:00

That's a rather diffuse rant! And still so young. I'm glad the Canadians you've dealt with have treated you well. Having lived in Australia, I can empathise with the lack of understanding on the sense of humour. Humour is a national sport, I think.



I find it funny that I hear Americans described as unapologetic bigots and yet never hear Americans making such statements against Australians or anyone else that seems to be the rule, rather than the exception in this forum. If "Nick" was my age and not the unwise 15 that he is, I'd clobber the son of a bitch. You people really need to check your egos, including the writer. Sorry if I appear sensitive. I just don't dig on what is essentially racism aimed at me because of where I was born, especially by those who claim to be so tolerant.

new yorker
2004.07.12 00:00:00

I wasn't really writing about Americans, "new yorker". I'm glad you have some perspective on the source of the comments that offended you. I can't apologize on that party's behalf, I'm amazed that you read any bigotry into my words.

P.S. I *hate it* when people don't leave their email address.


about me

So how is your business going? BTW I read "The Ambassador" which you posted... I found it entertaining and well written, for the most part. Did you have anyone review your work for you, i.e. like a professional manuscript reviewer? I am thinking of sending my manuscript off to a person in Australia, just to get a unbiased opinion on plot, character development and overal writing style.


2009.07.27 00:00:00

The new business is going quite well indeed. I'm currently learning how to make a modern web design work on IE6. 8(

Thanks for the feedback on the short story.


rand()m quote

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.