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Posts from January 2015

Happy Australia Day Cute Koala Bear

Koala bear plushie, Smiling Bear in Australia Day outfit, with Australia flag hat, singlet and thongs

This cute koala would like to wish everyone a Happy Australia Day! We hope you have a fantastic time with your loved ones today. Have fun and be safe, eat lots of great tucker and enjoy your day off.

Australia Day, or Straya Day as it’s becoming known more recently, is a huge celebration of this great country we live in! It’s all about having a day off to have fun with family, friends (and lots of food). It’s one day a year to take pride in Australian culture, heritage and history and to inspire our national spirit.

Big Day For Koalas Too
It’s also a big day for koala bears, especially Smiling Bear. He likes to put on his best Australia day clothing, all emblazoned with the Australia flag, grab a cold one (ginger beer that is!) and head out to see what everyone is up to.

Being an Australian icon, I get a lot of requests for koala cuddling, but of course I don't mind. It’s all part of being in my exclusive club, the Australian koala bears club, we're cute, kawaii and adorable. If you want to find out more about my cute koala plushies, see the link at the bottom of this post.

Public Holiday
Aussie Day is the official national day of Australia and is celebrated annually on the 26th January. It marks the anniversary of the first fleet of ships arriving at Port Jackson in 1788. However, because of the negative connotations of British settlement upon indigenous Australians (known as Aboriginals) the day is now more about looking towards the future, whilst recognising cultural diversity. So, in modern times the celebrations are about community, being accepting of one another with lots of family friendly events.

Australian of the Year
There are also official award ceremonies like the Australian of the Year award (hello, where’s Smiling Bear’s?!) Young Australian of the Year (again, what about moi?!), Senior Australian of the Year (ok, I’m obviously too young and beautiful for this) and Australia’s Local Hero (I suppose I’m more of an international super hero). The announcement of the Australia Day Honours list is a big thing, and there’s a speech from the Governor General and Prime Minister, and of course there is the welcoming Australian Citizenship ceremonies for new immigrants into Australia.

What Can I do on Australia Day?
There are so many great things to do, from going to outdoor concerts, big firework displays, sporting competitions, festivals, street parties, barbecues – the options are endless! If you are looking for things to do you should take a look at the official Australia Day website here, where you can find all local events for your area. It’s also a good place to see lots of messages shared by people from all over Australia, and to see their happy Australia Day images and what they are getting up to. You will be able to find lots of things for an Australia Day for kids, as it’s such a family friendly day where everybody comes together and celebrates. Whether you’re old or young, black or white (or anything in-between) it makes no difference. The day is all about celebrating together, our multiculturalism and unity.

Sydney Australia Day celebration is recognised as the nation’s largest celebration, and once again after New Years, the harbour becomes a focus with the world famous ferry race and tall ships race. Each city or central location has its annual traditions too, with Perth Skyworks being the largest single event presentation of the day.

Official and Unofficial National Anthem – Straya
This year, in the build up to Australia Day weekend, a new National Anthem was released, (or unofficial National Anthem) called ‘Straya’. It was sung to Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ song and it has become a viral video hit, clocking up well over 1 million video views at last look, and still climbing. It even made international news. It’s very catchy, and the accompanying video of famous Australians that has been edited together for it is great! Smiling Bear especially likes Kylie Minogue, who doesn’t like this little koala cutie?! She really is an Australian treasure, (and her sister Danii's not bad either). Check out the awesome Straya video below:

If you want to check out the cute koala plush toy 10–inch shown in the image above, then visit the Smiling Bear store.
You can also search the site for previous Australia Day posts to find more images, cards and designs to share with your mates.

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Giant Koala Plush at Australian Airports

Giant koala plush stood next to the koala plush toys

Come and take a selfie with our giant koala plush at all major Australian airports, right outside Discover Australia stores. Also available, our new super cool plush range from Bandai.

These cute kawaii plush products make the perfect gift or souvenir, and you can’t buy them anywhere else – it’s an Australian exclusive!

A percentage of all profits from sales are donated to our friends at the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF). That’s a whole lot of plush love, so come and get some!

* Our own online store is launching any day now!

* Smile More webcomic resumes shortly too

Yours smilingly,

Guy Paterson

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Authentic Australian Souvenirs Sydney

Koala plush toys by Smiling Bear in Discover Australia souvenir store at Sydney airport

If you are visiting Australia, then you've got to purchase one of our authentic Australian koala plush toys as a souvenir. Smiling Bear's new koala plush product range is cute, premium and totally unique.

Our plush make the perfect souvenir or gifts and continue to remind you of your special time spent here in Australia long after you’ve returned back home again. Take a little bit of the laid-back Aussie lifestyle and positive outlook back home with you.

Available exclusively from Discover Australia stores at all major Australian airports, Sydney International, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Cairns – come and find us and say hello to Discover’s smiling staff! They will be happy to help you choose that perfect gift.

These products are also available from our online store here, and we are shipping our products worldwide, for delivery straight to your door.

Smiling Bear, the adorable little blue koala was dreamt up in Manly, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney NSW. Building on the iconic nature of the Australian koala, Smiling Bear is the new Aussie character venturing out around the world. He has developed a strong online following (now over 1/4 million Facebook fans) all checking out the weekly webcomic and fun, positive messages about his happy-headed life.

As an authentic Australian owned character and company we will be donating a percentage of profits to the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF) and helping them to raise global awareness for the wild koala and its protection. You can read more information of our involvement with the AKF on our About page here. You can read more information about the AKF and the amazing work they do at their site

Our plush toy and accessory product range has been expertly manufactured under license by Bandai, one of the worlds top toy companies. They were specifically chosen for their exacting standards and extremely high quality products. Plush like this cannot be made in Australia, so we had to look further afield and seek expert help. Smiling Bear remains an authentic Australian owned company and character, whilst partnering with Bandai, one of the top toy manufacturing companies in the world. We believe this is a forward thinking, progressive partnership and it has allowed us to create a truly outstanding product range.

If you’re wondering why we didn’t make our plush here in Australia, it’s because you simply cannot manufacture high quality plush here. Claims of 'Australian Made’ plush or stuffed toys commonly sold as souvenirs to tourists in Australia are not actually manufactured here at all. They are actually shipped here from elsewhere in bits, and then at best, assembled here. The loophole in the ‘Australian Made’ law means that as long as a certain percentage of total costs are attributable to Australia (including things likes shipping, insurance etc) you can use the ‘Australian Made’ logo under license. You can read more about this misleading ruling at FindLaw Australia here.

If you do want to buy something that is 100% Product of Australia, you should only look for products displaying the official words'Product of Australia’.

We wanted our products to be manufactured in the most logical and fair way possible, without misleading people, so we could pass on the quality to the consumer. As previously mentioned, we are an authentic Australian owned company and character brand, and are located in Sydney NSW and we will continue to support the Australian Koala Foundation.


Yours smilingly,

Guy Paterson

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