Aussie Mates in America

January 14, 2019

Moving to a new place is often a life-changing experience. It can be exciting, sad, and even scary. Combine all this with moving to a different country and you can begin to understand how Esha Fae, 16, and Aleyah Deckker, 16, feel about moving to Ashland from Byron Bay, Australia (AUS).

Fae moved to Ashland in early August of 2018 with her dad who recently got a job offer in San Francisco. Fae is currently living with Deckker, her close family friend, while her dad works and lives in San Francisco. Deckker was born in Ashland and lived here until age 7 before she moved to Byron Bay, AUS where she met Fae. Both Fae and Deckker are now in grade 11 at Ashland High School.

When asked about her feelings about school in Ashland, Deckker stated, “Well, something that I say all the time is that I feel like I’m in a high school movie. I feel like here they’re a lot more on top of things.”

Fae and Deckker pointed out the aspects of AHS that create the movie-like atmosphere. Deckker said, “All of the TV that we watch in Australia is American based so it’s very stereotypical. At AHS you have football games, lockers, and basketball courts. Everyone is also full of team spirit.” Fae focused more on the technical characteristics of AHS in her explanation. “Australian schools are just completely different from American schools, like completely. We don’t have cheerleaders or a school band. We don’t have a school newspaper or counselors either.”

Fae and Deckker continue to explore the similarities and differences between the America and AUS in the Rogue News’ newest mini-series: Aussie Mates in America.

A Day in Esha’s Life

A Summer’s Day



December 20th 2017

5:17a.m. The water was warm, even before the sun had peaked over the horizon. We paddled out over the rolling waves as the first orange rays were painted across the sky. Gliding through the water, I feel free and awake.

6:58a.m. After spending the morning surfing and barreling through waves on the Kayak, we headed back to mine [my house] for breakfast. The 4 of us ate enough to feed an entire village, then went next door to Aaron’s. We all live within a few blocks of each other, constantly together. We are a family, small and dysfunctional.

7:45a.m. It was the summer holidays and we intended to spend every moment creating memories. We skated up the road to Bodhi’s house. I felt a sense of comfort, skating alongside Aaron, Orlando and Seb, all tall athletic blokes. We jumped into Bodhi’s hot tub, ate dragon fruit and blasted music as the sun rose slowly in the sky.

9:39 a.m. The fresh ocean breeze is the only thing making the summer heat bearable. We head back down to the beach, meeting a group of our friends. Diving through the crisp, blue waves, I feel complete bliss. We spent the rest of the morning lying in the sun, eating watermelon.

12:13p.m. We drove to Brunswick Heads and spent the rest of the afternoon jumping into the river off the bridge, splashing around on the beach. After meeting up with a big group of our friends, we got hot chips and ice cream, then went back to Bella’s house and watched movies.

6:03p.m. We climbed onto the roof with blankets, snacks and big cups of chai, watching the sun set over the ocean. Looking around at my friends, I couldn’t help but smile. I wished that moment would never end.

A Day in Aleyah’s Life

Mornings are spent on the deck or under the trees – drinking coffee, listening to the birds as the sun makes its way out of the forest and begins to warm the grass by my feet. Once the sun is out, the day will be filled in a sticky haze of heat and the afternoons will be spent in the ocean and with friends. Today the markets were on and Grace and I walked from her place into the heat to get smoothies. We didn’t stay there for long because the hot air began to make it feel as though we couldn’t breathe. After an hour, we headed back and packed a lunch to take down to the beach. We met up with a group of friends and the afternoon was spent lying on damp towels in the sand, sun too hot it sometimes burns my skin. Hours are lost swimming in the ocean and laughing in the shade of the trees. All we can smell is sunscreen and salt and the only things eaten are watermelons and mangos. The evenings are filled with dinners at friends houses or restaurants as we watch the sun set into the ocean. Sometimes I meet a bunch of people down at the beach and have bonfires on the sand. Most nights are spent lying awake, going in and out of cold showers and sleeping directly under the window, occasionally feeling the soft cool breeze: a day in summer complete. 

A Guide to Aussie Slang

Arvo: Afternoon, “I’ll see you this arvo mate.” 

Dag: A goofy, unsual and/or untidy looking person. 

Bogan: The most Australian person you could think of, or a “redneck.” 

Bloke: A man, usually looks quite Austalian/masculine, “That’s a nice lookin bloke.” 

Heaps: A lot of/many, “There’s heaps of flies, aye mate.” “The surf ’s heaps good today.” 

Jumper: A sweater or pullover. 

Rug up: The act of putting on warm clothes and/or wrapping yourself in blankets. 

Spunk: Having courage and determination or dressing in an unusual, funky way, “That mates got spunk.” 

Ta: Thank you, usually said when something is passed to you. 

Take a sickie: Taking a day off work or school. 

Australian Staples

Vegemite is a thick black paste made from brewers yeast extract, various vegetables and spices. It has a very salty taste and can sometimes be overpowering. It is best eaten with bread and butter and is usually thinly spread on top although some Australians really enjoy the intense salty flavour and add thicker layers depending on the acquired taste. Vegemite is a staple in our diets and is the Australian PB&J. 


Fairy bread or unicorn toast is a classic Australian treat. It consists of sliced white bread, a layer of butter or margarine and colourful rainbow sprinkles, speckled on top. It is typically cut into two triangles and is served at birthday parties or as an afternoon snack. 


Weet-bix is a common staple breakfast cereal in Australia. It is made from whole grain wheat which is ground up and turned into a flakey biscuit. You usually eat them with milk, banana and a drizzle of honey. 


TimTams are two biscuits with a choccy cream filling and then covered in a thin choccy layer. The biscuits taste a lot like a graham cracker and has a very crunchy then soft consistency. A lot of Australian kids will have them for morning tea at school. 

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