Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

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Monday, 28 January 2019

Australia Day - Cooee!!

26 January is Australia Day and Australians gather together all across the country and overseas to celebrate our amazing country. 

I've blogged before about Australia Day, what it represents, and what Australians do on Australia Day, so today I am going to do something a little different - "Cooee!" If you are not Australian you may well ask what is "cooee"? 
It is a loud and shrill call - a long "cooooo" followed by a whippy "ee". Play the video below to hear it.


 If you are Australian you will know that it is a call that carries over long distances to attract attention, find missing people, and which means "where are you" or "I am over here". 

I've heard that sometimes Australians will call it when they are in a big crowd overseas, just to see if they will get a response from another Aussie. I wish I had thought to do this when we were among the thousands of people at the Trevi fountain in Rome last year! It would have been amusing to hear the result. 
If you have been to a cricket match in Australia, you may have heard a 'cooee' called and then picked up and called by others around the stadium.




Cooee, the iconic call of the Australian bush, has its origins from the Australian Aboriginal - Originally a call used by an Aboriginal person to communicate with someone at a distance, the word comes from the Dharug Aboriginal language of the original inhabitants of the Sydney area, from the word gawi or guwi meaning 'come here'. Cooee is recorded from the early years of European settlement in Sydney.

Later adopted by settlers and now widely used as a signal, especially in the bush; it is often found in the phrase "within cooee" meaning 'within earshot' within reach, near'.

from: Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms

The expression "within cooee" has developed within Australian English as slang for "within a manageable distance". It is also used in the negative sense i.e. "you're not even within cooee", meaning not close to or, a long way off. Another example would be: "They realised they were lost and there was no-one within cooee". 

The word cooee has become a name of many organisations, places and even events.

·         Many recruiting posters in Australia during World War 1 used "Coo-ee". A number of songs and poems were written at the time and a competition to select the best of these was held.  The poster below depicts an Australian solider in the Dardanelles using the "Coo-ee" to summon reinforcements from Australia in 1915.

Australian World War 1 recruitment poster
Perhaps the most historic event was the Cooee March during the First World War. 


In 1915 recruiting committees were formed in nearly every town throughout Australia. In the central west of New South Wales a movement began which became known as the 'Gilgandra March'. Under the leadership of W.T. ('Captain Bill') Hitchen, 20 or so men who had determined to enlist started off to march to Sydney. Gathering other recruits along the way, they numbered about 300 by the time they reached Sydney. This was known as the Coo-ee March.

 The monument you see above, designed by Brett Garling, was unveiled in Gilgrandra on Anzac Day 25 April 2015

Their example was soon followed by other marches from around New South Wales and Queensland.

My thanks to the following References:

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you have enjoyed my post today. Have you ever heard a "coo-ee"? Have you used it? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments.  I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like:
Celebrating Australia Day and Waltzing Matilda 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
         All Seasons
         MosaicMonday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf
        Our World Tuesday
        Pictorial Tuesday 
        ThroughMy Lens 

 Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

19 comments:

  1. This was fun reading! I had no idea of co-ee - sounded great. Happy MM.

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  2. Hello, it would be fun to be in a crowd calling Coo-ee! Happy Australia Day! I like the poster and the memorial statue. Have a happy day and a great new week ahead!

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  3. Jill - what an interesting post! I knew it was Australia Day because there were Australia flags scattered around our ski resort on Saturday - I think some Aussies had been spreading good cheer! I have never heard a coo-ee, but I would like to try it out on the next Aussie I meet on the mountain. People in Ohio, especially graduates of Ohio State University, will shout O - H and you are supposed to respond I - O. Not nearly as impressive as the people who responded to the call of the Cooee March - astounding piece of history. Thanks for commemorating Australia Day with all the Mosaic Monday readers.

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    1. good to hear that Aussies overseas are celebrating our National Day. Yes, next time I am overseas I must call out coo-ee!

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  4. I really enjoyed your post today Jill about the Coo-ee! Funny, as children in England it was something our Grandmother always used to shout to us! Hope you had a lovely Australia day. We were very quiet, but blissful :)

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    1. obviously your grandmother knew about the coo-ee - perhaps from returned servicemen from WW1?

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  5. Happy Australia Day. Learned something new with my visit. Oh how fun if Americans had a call. Have a great week.

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  6. Coo-ee from Hawaii, can you hear me down there? Loved this post!! I learned a lot - always a plus for a blog post!! Have a great week.

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  7. Fascinating to hear about your Coo-ee!

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  8. What a fabulous post! I've never heard of the Gilgandra march before, but I'm going to find out more! #teamlovinlife

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  9. I got goosebumps reading about the Cooee recruitment. It's a combination of sadness and pride for humanity. A great post, Jill. Thanks.

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    1. Amazing what drove these young men to volunteer. So many never came back.

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  10. Very nice and thanks for the lesson. I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing. #lovinlifelinky

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  11. Jesh - All Seasons1 February 2019 at 12:47

    Hello Jill,
    The Coeee March is an interesting native phenomena, I listened to the call, and I like it.
    Not so much skill is needed as the African "call" I once learned from an African friend from Zambia (also high pitched, but you have to keep moving the tong rapidly pronouncing the letter "l"). Love the new photo of you in the side bar:)
    Many thanks for your interesting post for all Seasons!
    Sorry, for the late replay - had visitors this week to view my paintings and on another day family, so haven't been much on my blog this week:).
    Have a great weekend, Jesh/Junieper

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  12. Life Images by Jill1 February 2019 at 22:02

    Coo-eee! Thanks everyone for your comments and for visiting this week. I am sorry that I haven't responded, but I have come down with a summer "cold", but I hope to visit your blogs soon.

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  13. Hello Jill. It's good to link up with you. I've enjoyed this blog post and learning about the origin of the call, coo-ee. I remember as a small child (in the UK) in the 1950s calling 'coo-ee - ready or not' when being the Seeker during the game of Hide and Seek. I hope you get over that Summer cold quickly. Have a good week.

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I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.