Our family connections with Australia go back a long way. There were rumors of ‘interesting characters’ on Dad’s side of the family who sought  new lives under the guidance of His Majesty in both North America and further east, so to speak. The family name of Cody features prominently on my paternal grandmother’s family tree: so you get the general drift. However, it wasn’t until 1943 when my father Vic, his brother Bernard and brother-in-law Reg arrived Down Under with the British Pacific Fleet, that normal relations were established with the Lucky Country.

So after listening to numerous tales and anecdotes from three English sailors about the Island continent and its people there had to come a time to find out for myself. These little stories are all true and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. I have tried to come up with a single word that epitomes the Australian character. How can any writer use one word to sum up ‘friendly, humorous, dry, quick witted and laconic?’  It certainly has me beaten. To fully understand what I mean, you’ll have to go Down Under yourself – that is if you haven’t been already.

My thanks go to Barry Nankervis of Bendigo, once again, for advice on all matters Australian, and to Annie Roberts of Mollymook NSW whose own enthusiasm for this book ensured it was completed with a minimum of errors. I owe you both a few cold ones!

I have made two longish trips to Oz. Will I go again? You just try stopping me. Who knows, there might even be further tales to write. I sure hope so

Mark Harland
AKA the ‘Sunburnt Pom.’

Sunburnt Pom’s Tales of Oz.

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Everyone has read books about Australia: its history, geography, the Great Barrier Reef or the fact that it is host to the world’s ten deadliest animals. But how many have read, or even written, about the Australian character? Indeed, what is the Australian character? In fact, what is it about the ‘Australian’ that is so unique?

It is fifty years since John O’Grady wrote ‘They’re a Weird Mob’ and a while since Bill Bryson’s hilarious escapades ‘Down Under’  had us all laughing out loud.

In this collection of short stories English author Mark Harland takes you on a tour around various regions of Australia. These are his accounts of some of the people he met. It is Australians and Australia as seen through a Pommy’s eyes.