Learn Australian English in this episode of Aussie English where I teach you the Australian pronunciation of CAN vs CAN’T.
AE 464 – Can vs Can’t | Australian Pronunciation & Accent Training
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I have a question from Dan who sent me this on YouTube, and Dan said, “How do we get the difference between can and can’t in Australian English?”. So, how can we pronounce these, and how can we listen out and hear the differences? Let’s go.
Alright, so this was a really good question. Thanks Dan. And remember, if you guys wanna ask me a question that you would like me to do a video on in the future, put that below.
Also, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and the bell notifications button as well if you would like to stay up to date with all the future episodes.
Alright, so ‘can’, we’ll go through ‘can’ first. ‘Can’ has the vowel sound /æ/. Okay? So, it sounds like words like fan, van, man, plan, and scan. However, ‘can’ can often be contracted, it can be de-emphasized, when it is in a sentence that has other words, where the word ‘can’ is not the focus.
So, ‘can’ is an auxiliary verb and I can use this verb before other verbs if I want to show that I am able to do this thing. I’m able to, I can do this thing. However, it can be contracted, it ‘can’ be contracted into just the schwa sound in Australian English, English everywhere can do this. Okay? “…’can’ do this”. So, if there are words in the sentence after ‘can’ I would generally say that you can contract it. Okay? So, it sounds like ‘can’. I so say this with me.
Can, can, can, can.
Good job. And let me give you some examples, okay?
I can see. I can see. I would never say it like that. Because the word ‘see’ is there, I would say, “I can see”. ‘Can’. The other example here is: can he help you? Can he help you? Can he help you? Can he help you? You’ve got ‘help you’ in there so you can say: ‘can’ he help you? Can help you?
The only thing I want to mention, when it is stand-alone, when it is by itself, in a sentence as in someone has used a question, they’ve ask you, “Can you do this? Can you do this”, and you’ve replied, “Yes, I can.”, you would never contract it. And so, you would say the full, well-pronounced word ‘can’. You wouldn’t say, ‘I can’ or ‘you can’.
So, for example: I can help you later. Can you? Can you? ‘Can’ is the only interesting word in that sentence aside from the pronoun. Can you? Can you? You wouldn’t say: can you? “Yes, I can”, not, “Yes, I can”. Okay?
So, quick recap. ‘Can’ sounds like: van, Dan, man, plan, etc., but it can be contracted when it is not the important word in a sentence, and it can become, it ‘can’ become, ‘can’. Can, can.
Alright, now let’s move onto ‘can’t’. ‘Can’t’. So, this is a different vowel sound. ‘Can’t’ sounds like words including: car, star, far, bar. This is a long /ɐː/ vowel sound, as opposed to a short /ɐ/ vowel sound. Okay? And this happens in the Australian accent where we have this vowel difference. Can, /æ/, can’t, /ɐː/. /æ/, /ɐː/. This is Australian, could be British as well, but it doesn’t happen in the Standard American Accent.
They will say ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, and you have to listen for that T.
However, because we have that vailed difference in Australian accents you won’t often hear the T at the end. You can hear ‘can’, ‘can’, you know that that is the affirmative form, there’s no negative there, ‘can’, ‘can’. And when you hear ‘can’t’, you know, that’s negated because of the vowel sound.
And remember guys, this is different from the short version of this vowel. ‘Hut’ is a very short /ɐ/ sound, but if we make that longer, it changes the meaning of the word to heart, heart. Right? So, this is why it’s important to get this vowel sound right or you will change the meaning of the word and it’s quite bad.
Story time. Okay, so once I was working in a restaurant and the Thai lady, who was my manager at the time, I had to ask for a break. I needed to go on a break. So, I said, “Can I go on break?”, and she replied to me, “No, you cunt”. So, that was incredibly awkward, because I’m sure you guys will know that that word is one of the worst, if not the worst, words in English.
The way in which I told her to get around this was to just make sure she elongates that /ɐː/ sound. So, if you’re worried about making that mistake, just make sure that your elongating the vowel sound in the word ‘can’t’. Okay? Don’t make it quick. Don’t make it quick. Can’t.
Another point we also touched on a moment ago was that we mute the T. So, quite often you won’t hear people say ‘Can’t’, you’ll hear them say ‘can’t, ‘can’t’. So, what’s happening is that that T is a stop consonant where pressure builds up behind the tongue, and then is released, it’s released, but we can un-release it, although that’s not a word, we can prevent it from being released by just going. So, we would say, instead of ‘can’t’, we don’t say the /t/ and instead we just say ‘can’t’, and the tongue stops the air, ‘can’t’.
So, it sounds like a very, very, very short N sound instead of a long N sound. So, this is another way to listen out for this. If you heart, ‘can’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘can’t’, it’s different from ‘carn’, ‘carn’. That N sound is a lot more emphasised in the word ‘carn’ as opposed to ‘can’t’.
So, let’s compare these two words, okay, where will say the T released and then we’ll say unreleased.
Can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t.
As a result of this T being muted as well, when a word follows the word ‘can’t’ and it begins with a vowel sound, quite often we will link these words with an N sound. Okay? That /n/ in ‘can’t’ right at the end there. So, two examples are: I can’t open the door. I can’t open the door. I can’t open the door. N_open, N_open. I can’t open the door.
It can’t end like this. It can’t end like this.
Although, ‘can’ can be contracted to ‘can’, because ‘can’t’ or ‘can’t’ is already a contraction of the words ‘can not’, we won’t contracted any further. Okay? We won’t say ‘can’t’. So, let’s practice pronouncing the differences between ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, okay? Listen out for it.
Can, can’t, can, can’t, can, can’t, can, can’t.
Now I’m going to say to you a list of sentences, guys, and I’m not going to show you what those sentences are until after I have said them, and I want you to see if you can pick when I say ‘can’ or ‘can’ and when I say ‘can’t’. Okay? So, listen and have a think, pause the video if you need, but practice your ear here. This is where you want to listen and see if you can notice the difference in pronunciation. Let’s go.
Listening Comprehension test:
- ____ animals feel?
- She ____ help you.
- I ____ see him.
- He ____ eat now.
- ____ they buy me something?
- ____ you say anyone?
- It ____ end like this.
- We ____ leave when you want.
- I ____ change his mind.
Good job guys. I hope that helps. I know that the different sounds between ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ can be a real pain in the butt. Keep practising it. It will take a little time, but I am sure that you will get the hang of it sooner rather than later.
Remember, guys hit that ‘Subscribe’ button if you want to keep up to date with all the future videos coming out with regards to Australian English or English in general, and don’t forget to listen to the Aussie English Podcast.
This is the free podcast that I create, guys, for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. So, check it out via the website here.
Until next time, guys, I hope you have an amazing day and I’ll see you later. Peace!
- Can animals feel?
- She can’t help you.
- I can see him.
- He can eat now.
- Can they buy me something?
- Can’t you say anyone?
- It can’t end like this.
- We can leave when you want.
- I can’t change his mind.
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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Watch the interview video here:
AE 479 – Interview: How to Prepare for IELTs with Kit Perry
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
So, today, I have an interview episode with you all about IELTs, and we do mention the PTE and some of the other tests as well. But yeah, I thought I would get on my fiancée’s old English teacher from Townsville, Kit, and he is from the Townsville International English School, and Kel had been harassing me for a while to get him on the podcast and saying he was an amazing guy, a really good teacher, has a lot to say, a lot of knowledge about IELTs and some of these other exams as well. And so, I thought it would be awesome to get him on and just chat to him about how to prepare for the IELTs, what to expect, how to do well on the IELTs, and hopefully put a few of your concerns at ease.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s just get into this interview today with Kit from the Townsville International English school.
G’day, guys! Welcome to this video! Welcome to this interview of Aussie English, today I have Kit from Townsville International English School with me and he is my fiancée’s old English teacher. So, Kit, welcome to the podcast! Thanks so much for coming on.
Thanks for having me.
So, I guess, first of all, how did Kel get so good in English? What was her secret?
Well, there’s a few different things, I guess, to answer that question that’s Kel herself and her propensity or ability to pick up the language, but yeah, hopefully, I think there was an element of the school and what we do up here in her success as well. So, I think yeah there’s a few things involved in that.
That’s what I’m always saying when I hear like, she told me when she got here she spoke no English, at least I have no idea, but she said she spoke none, very limited.
Very, very limited. I remember when she first came in, we’re doing our placement test and we happened to have tablet chairs in the classroom that she was doing a test and I remember asking her, just a simple question, are you left handed or right handed? And, you know, I was just met with this complete blank sort of expression and, you know, from that point it was sort of obvious okay, well, she’s going to be pretty low. So, and yeah, she tested at a beginner level when she started and we had her for…I don´t know how long it was, but by the end, by now, you know, she’s… yeah, she’s brilliant.
You know, she speaks very much like a native speaker, I would say, you know, her vocab is incredible and yes, I don´t know, I think Raquel is a bit of an exception in some ways, you know, like I think she’s naturally talented at languages which really helped a lot and she has a great memory. I always… always think that, you know, when I have students with a really good memory that goes such a long way in learning a language. So, that also helped, but yeah, hopefully, you know, we played a part in her progression and where she’s at now too.
Yeah, definitely. I just think it’s so good that you can see how much someone could attain in just two years, you know? If they work their ass off she will say she read 30 books in a year or something and was just constantly studying. So, it’s good to know that, you know, obviously talent is part of it, but hard work is a massive part of this as well.
I absolutely agree. And she was really a very hardworking student so she really sort of, you know, put her best foot forward in everything she did. She was always doing homework, always asking for extra stuff to do. So, yeah, definitely goes a long way I think, you know, the attitude and the mentality of wanting to improve is what was there with Raquel, so yeah, definitely.
Yeah, she´s a bit of a champ.
Less about her and more about you, Kit. How did you wind up doing what you’re doing where you’re doing it? Can you tell me the story of how you ended up in Townsville, teaching English in a school?
Absolutely, yeah. So, I spent most of my young years in Townsville, actually I grew up in Townsville. I was born in Papua New Guinea, but then came back and lived in Townsville with my parents, so I grew up here. Went to the university down in Brisbane and then landed a dream sort of job up here in Townsville at a local high school and did that for about five years and I loved it. I had a great job, I had lovely students, beautiful sort of facilities and a great place to teach. However, I sort of felt over that time that my… my personal idea of what a good education is was a little bit divergent to what was going on at the school, that the focus of the school was very much on students getting, you know, As and, you know, producing results that, you know, maybe look good on paper, but I think in reality doesn’t necessarily go with what I consider a good or an effective education. So, I sort of… in many ways I sort of thought okay, well, you know, if I can’t achieve what I want to achieve as an educator within that system, that we would branch out and start our own school. One of the things that’s sort of, you know, the final straw that broke the camel’s back was I had 18 classes that I taught as a middle teacher, so 18 separate classes of students. It was ridiculous and I sort of…I went to the principal actually the year before I left and I said listen, it´s just… is too many, you know, like I was capable of teaching that many students, but… and knowing individuals for that many students, but it was just too much.
But how can you connect too, I mean, you might be able to remember their name, but how much time can you give to them?
Absolutely, yeah, totally and that’s what it was, it was about sort of, you know, like yeah, I knew the students, but could I really connect? Could I really make a difference for them? No, it was too much and I said, you know, give me a couple less classes or one less class next year and I guarantee we can do more with these students, but I came back the next year and I think I had one extra class, so I said at the start of that year, you know, that’s enough, you know. It didn’t really match with my philosophy of education so my wife is also a teacher and so we basically had a discussion at the start of that year and said well, you know, if this is not…if it this doesn’t reflect who we are as educators, then let’s create a school that does. So yes we open TIES in about 10 years ago now and we’ve been going ever since and we’ve basically created everything from what we wanted to reflect as educators and what we thought was a great education. So, you know, we have small class sizes, with a maximum of 18 students, but typically we have between sort of maybe 12 or 14 students in the class. We had a lot of individualized focus within the class, a lot of attention directly with our students and you know, maybe going back to Raquel´s example, maybe that is one of the reasons why she for example improved so much is that we’re really able to make a difference in our students lives and in their… obviously, their English ability.
So, yeah, and everything we do here works from that philosophy and that core driving principle that we start the school with.
So, what kind of advice would you have for people thinking about getting into schools and working out whether a school is going to be good, whether it’s in general or just for them? Like, are there things, are there warning signs, are there things that they can find out about different schools or it’s just a crapshoot where you have to just hope?
I mean, at the end of the day, if you can talk to a teacher who has been in that particular school for a period of time and you can get honest feedback from them, I think that’s a good place to start, but it’s not always easy to do that. I think a lot of schools on the outside looking incredible and this particular school that I was at was incredible and beautiful school, beautiful facilities and everything, but I don’t think you can really get a sense of the true cultural, the underlying cultural, the education establishment until you’re actually teaching.
It´s a hard one.
Yeah, it’s a hard one, absolutely.
There’s kind of like an anecdote I know about… one of my friends are really into cars, he loves Ferraris and I remember he was with a friend looking for a Ferrari for him. He’s not rich, but the friend was and they test drove Shane Warne’s old Ferrari. Shane Warne’s a cricketer in Australia and it looked amazing and then they got in it and there were cigarette burns in the leather, it had been destroyed, but it was like they had no idea until they got in the car that it was a piece of junk.
So, it’s a bit like that, unfortunately, is it? That you sort of have to show up in and do it then you find out. So, what would you say, what are the key things that your school does or focuses on that enables students to sort of flourish?
Sure. So, one of our key principles is to understand the needs, interests and motivations of every student and then to use that within the classroom. You know, I always think if you can really sort of tailor your classroom to what your students need, what their interests are, what their motivations are, you can teach them anything and everything, you know, if you’re interested in cars and you’re teaching comparatives and superlatives, obviously some comparisons between different models or different aspects of a car. You gonna get that person’s attention and I think it’s it’s not something that’s, you know, you can’t really say there’s a generic way I guess of teaching a particular topic, but if you understand each individual student and their needs, interests and motivations I think you can teach them anything.
That’s so true, I think Like, thinking back to high school with teachers that I really admired and enjoyed learning from with those who connect with me on a personal level, as opposed to just this is how I teach and the students need to adjust to my methods.
And so, Townsville, how do you get students in Townsville? Like I would have…before meeting Raquel, I would have thought no one’s going to Townsville, it’s so far north in Queensland what are the reasons for people to, obviously, go to Townsville and to think about it as a location to get work or to learn English? What are the benefits of going to Townsville?
Absolutely. I mean it’s a hard one because we aren´t really well known internationally, but I think in many ways it’s a benefit for our students. If you compare the cost of living for example amongst largest cities in Australia like Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne. The cost of living in Townsville is significantly cheaper. So, I think that’s a huge advantage. We’re sort of big enough that we have a variety of different industries where students can work, yet we don’t have the high-level competition that some of the big cities have as well so there’s a lot of jobs. The biggest hurdle for us I guess is the fact that we’re relatively unknown globally. Like, you sort of talk to anyone from overseas about Australia they´l mentioned Sydney, of course, and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairn and other centres, but not a lot of them now about Townsville so, a lot of our students come from word of mouth. So, it’s students that have recommended friends or family members to come and study. We also work with education agents both in Australia and abroad who recommend us to students from overseas, but it’s probably the most difficult thing for us is the fact that Townsville is so unknown globaly.
Does it get easir to get to, though? Because it’s unknown and there are fewer people there. Is it easier for students to get visas or to get positions at schools and stuff like that there?
I mean, the visa regulations are the same regardless of where you´re located, in terms of the student visa.
Ah, ok, gotcha. Because I was thinking rural areas, but is that work related more?
Yeah, that´s more work related, but there are I mean, there’s a lot of students that are moved to Townsville, you know, to get points for visas and things like that, but no, for a student visa is exactly the same. Yeah, I guess it’s… we’re sort of like we talk about Townsville being a small city or a large country town, you know, so it’s sort of… it doesn’t match every student, like some students really want the nightlife of the big city, they want you know their huge shopping centres and things like that. And we don’t sort of offer that, you know, like we´re more for students that really want that sort of Australian experience and really immersive in the culture and serious about improving. I think Raquel is probably, you know, as a student is probably one of the best ones to sort of ask about that you know. What was her experience of living in a small…
She said It was the deep end of the pool, she got chucked in the deep end and was like ´´oh my God! All these people speak with the strongest accent!´ Sink or swim, you either learn that accent… And now her listening comprehension is off the charts.
It is, totally. I think there´s a lot more opportunities in a regional or more rural, although I wouldn’t say rural, but a regional area like Townsville. There’s more opportunities to get to know the locals, to you know, to have that one on one with people and connect with the local community which you do get in a big city, don’t get me wrong, but I just think that there’s more opportunities for it in a small place.
And so, I guess moving on to the different kinds of exams and things that you’re preparing students for. Can you talk about which ones exist and the pros and cons of doing each one? Which are the ones that your students focus on mainly?
Yes, so our main focus is IELTS, IELTS preparation. We have an IELTS testing centre in Townsville. We don’t actually have a PTE test centre at the moment so, students if they choose PTE have to travel to Brisbane or Sydney, which adds a bit of an expense to it. But yeah that’s the other option so, so you go out and you go PTE, then you’ve got a few other tests that are more sort of job related like you have OET, The Occupational English Test for Nurses and Doctors and Health Care Professionals, and obviously you know TOEFL and TOEIC and all the rest of them, but yeah, our main focus is on IELTS preparation, specifically, but in terms of the two big comparables ones it would be PTE and IELTS.
What are the benefits? What´s are the reasons you would pick one over the other?
Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, they´re both a test of the student’s English language ability. So, you know, like a lot of students come to me and say ´which one is easier, Kit?´ ´Which one should I shouldn’t choose to do?´ and to be honest you know it’s in my opinion it’s much of a muchness. You know, like, there might be slight benefits for some students to do PTE, for example, if they´re good at keyboards and good at typing and they writing isn’t very good. Yeah that’s definitely going to be a slight advantage PTE. However, in saying that, you know, like I think that the advantage is so small that it’s… I wouldn’t even worry about it, you know what I mean? So, at the end the day for me it’s not about necessarily which test is easier, but about preparing your general English ability, your language ability to pass the test, if you know what I mean.
That’s it and I think it was one of those things that I didn’t… I hadn’t really had that much experience with understanding how it exactly worked, either the PTE or the IELTS, but you actually need to be studying not just English, but the specific exams, right? So that’s a key thing that a lot of English learning students don’t realise when they’re trying to prepare for these exams, they better realise that learning English is one part, right? But you need to also be focusing on what do I need to be able to do in this exam to get a good score.
Absolutely, an obvious difference between the two, with IELTS being paper based and PTE being computer based. However, in saying that, IELTS also does have computer-based versions I think in Melbourne and Sydney and perhaps Brisbane, I’m not 100% sure, but there is a computer based version as well. I guess another benefit of PTE is the time that it takes to get the results of its and then arts and things like that. But I mean at the end of the day they´re both a test of your English language ability.
So, you know, I think or is an option if you both too.
Do you know the rough prices for each of them and how long’s…
They are about the same.
They´re about the same?
Yeah, exactly, in terms of price. I mean, in some areas IELTS is more expensive if it’s administered other location that isn’t the principal location, but generally speaking they´re both 330-ish dollars. So, yeah, no real difference in price point, just the fact that PTE the results come out quicker than IELTS, although I think IELTS is probably gonna up their game and change that soon with having a computer-based version as well. What else? PTE you can choose different times to do the test and there´s more frequent tests. Yeah. I mean, they’re pretty much, apart from that, they’re both a test of, you know, reading, writing listening and speaking, your vocab needs to be really good. I would say both are much of a muchness in my opinion.
Oh, brilliant, so what different kinds of exams for ILETS exist and what are the benefits or what are the reasons that you would do one over the other?
Sure, you’ve got the General at the Academic module. The Academic module is primarily used for gaining entry to to TAFE, like, vocational education or universities or for recognition to work in particular jobs like as a teacher, for example, you have to do an Academic IELTS test for teaching registrational, as a nurse or a doctor or another health care professional, that’s where Academic is the one that you need to do. The general module is more commonly used for migration purposes, to prove the level of English that a person has and to get different points at different levels within the nine band score for IELTS.
Having said that, it’s interesting, I find some students actually get higher schools in the Academic module than they do in the General module. So, in some ways it’s actually benefit to some students to do the academic for PR, for residency purposes, just depending on the student, you know? Like if I have… let’s say for example someone that has studied at university in Australia, they’ve done Accounting or whatever it is. I often would recommend to them to the Academic version because of the different scale for reading, in particular, it’s a lot easier easier in a sense or you can make more mistakes to get a higher score in the Academic than the General.
How do they differ exactly? Is it a different kinds of language? I mean, obviously, it’s academic language, but I mean, how foreign is that from the General one if you’re just saying learning English generally? Are you going to be able to do the Academic one if you wanted or you would need to sort of have some kind of experience in academic English at university or something?
Yep, sure, absolutely. So, I mean, I guess, at the end of the day, it’s like when I look at a student and if they have the option of doing the Academic or General, is about sort of identifying that student’s past experience in English and then which one is going to better suit them and what they need to do. So, yeah, so if I have a student that studied at university level in Australia, for example, then I often recommend to them to do the academic version of the test, just because I often find that they get a higher score, actually, than the general. So, yeah, I guess it depends on the students in a sort of case by case basis.
Brilliant. And so how are the exams scored? And what are the kinds of scores and what do they mean? I guess, what’s the minimum to say be able to do whatever it is that you need to do in Australia, whether it’s studying or residency or whatever?
Sure. So, it’s got an nine sort of band scale. 9.0 being the equivalent of a native speaker and then each level going down has a different sort of a descriptor as to the language ability of the student. Different levels are applied to different things so, if you have, you know, for example as a teacher, if someone comes from abroad who wants to teach in Australia. In most cases, they need an 8.0 in each. So, out of the listening, reading. writing and speaking they´ll need a 8.0 minimum in each, which is really quite a high level, to get a teacher registration.
I was wonderful and school that if I just went in blind and did the test.
I´m sure you would. I have had a few cases over the years where I had native speakers actually come to me because of they´d failed the test, but in most cases it´s just because they didn’t really understand the format or what was being asked of the test, rather than their ability.
Which emphasizes the importance in studying how to actually complete the exam, right?
Absolutely, 100 percent. It sort of…I guess, it’s a trick one. Most of my students when they get with doing IELTS preparation they want to know straightaway. What are the tips? what are the tricks? what are the techniques? And that’s important, don’t get me wrong.
You know, like, it’s… it’s quite a specific test and written in a particular way and actually there’s a benefit to that, in my opinion because if you understand the test, you can answer the questions much more effectively. However, in saying that, if a student doesn’t have the general English language level or ability right, you know, I can talk about tips and tricks and techniques until I’m blue in the face it’s not going to make any difference.
You need that ability to be able to improvise, right, on the spot. You’re not necessarily going to get the exact questions you’ve been studying, but you need to be able to know ´okay, how do I respond to this? What´s needed?´.
100 percent. Going back to the different levels required for different things, for nurses, for example, in Australia they have to do, if they do the IELTS test for their registration, they have to do the Academic modules and they have to get a 7.0 in each band, with nothing lower than a 7. Some courses at university ask for six overall. Some ask for six point five. Some ask for seven. Just depends on the university in the particular course, but for any of those examples it has to be an a. Academic test. For…More for migration purposes, students have the choice of General or Academic and the level that students get helps them in different points with applying for residency. So, you know if they can score higher, for example, or Academic they often say well, you know. you’re crazy not to do it, you know what I mean?
The good thing with Academic that it obviously applies… it covers what General covers and more.
It does, to some extent. Yeah, I mean, the only sort of issue I get sometimes with IELTS is that the results are only balanced valid for two years. So, you sort of yeah… you have to sort of think about timeframes and, you know… like I’ve got a student at the moment for example who has recently passed to get into university to study nursing and she got a 7.0 in each in a couple os higher results, which was high enough for her to get into university, but because it´s only valid two years, unfortunately, at the end, to get her qualifications recognised and her registration as a nurse, she will have to do the test again, which is a bit frustrating…
I can understand aside from obviously wanting more people to do the test more often to get money, I can imagine like… if you were to do the IELTS and then straight away leave and not speak English for two years, I can imagine that your English can deteriorate as my my French has, for example, since not speaking it for the last two or so years.
But it’s yeah, it’s frustrating as well for a lot of students, you know, that they have to do it again if they need it for registration purposes and something.
Far out! So, what would you say is the best way to prepare for IELTS? Is it that you definitely need to go to school? Is it that you don’t need a school? Like, if you were to give advice to someone who has obviously organised getting a visa and coming to Australia to study, you know, whatever it is, what’s the best way to go about studying for IELTS?
Sure absolutely. So, it’s a tricky one. I mean, I think you know most people can attain a certain level of language ability on their own, you know in isolation. But I think when you sort of… you’re talking about reaching that next level like a lot of students improve really quickly from the beginner to an intermediate level of language ability, but then they reach that plateau and they get really stuck there. I think any sort of preparation for any tests like IELTS sort of… in the same way as, you know, a student reaching a plateau, they need to have someone that’s looking at their level of English, the good things their are doing or the mistakes they´re making, a coach, trainer, someone that can look at them and say well, yeah, you do this great, but you know, if you want to attain that next level, you need to focus on your articles or you need to focus on your pronunciation of this particular sound. I think in isolation it’s really difficult for most students to attain a starting a 7.0, for example, or higher. It’s not impossible. You know, like there’s a lot of self-study material out there, but I really do feel like you need that feedback and that continual feedback.
Pushing you and giving you, as you said, feedback on the things you screwing up which you can’t necessarily get yourself, you know?
Absolutely. Having someone that knows the tests and is able to sort of identify your weaknesses and what you need to work on and them to give you continuous feedback to reach that next level. I think that’s really really important.
You know, there’s obviously face to face classes, there´s online providers, there’s lots of different options, but I think as long as you have someone, you know, a coach, a mentor, a teacher, someone giving you that feedback that’s really, really important.
And so, how long does it normally take people to prepare for the exam? You know, for say, someone like Raquel who had zero experience, it obviously took a year or two and can you compare her to say someone who does have say an intermediate level before they arrive in Australia and what each person would need to do to apply for or get a good score on IELTS?
Yeah, it’s a hard question to answer. You know, it’s sort of like the “how long is the piece of string?”, but, you know, because it all comes down to individual aptitude and how much they apply themselves and a lot of different factors, and also it comes down to the level, you know, like once you’re talking about like a 7.0 or an 8.0 and those higher levels, the differences between them and the subtleties of the language and getting students to reach the level takes a lot more work. You know, it’s almost like that last 10 percent takes 90 percent of the effort. So, it depends on the level of the student when they start, I guess, and how high they want to get. And obviously the aptitude and the attitude and all those sorts of things as well.
But, generally speaking, you know, we get lots of students that perhaps come in at an intermediate level and maybe need to get a 7.0, for example, in most cases I would sort of recommend one or two terms to get to that level.
How long’s a term? 6 months?
So, for us, it’s 11 weeks. Yeah, four eleven-week terms during the year. Generally speaking probably yeah, one to two terms to get to that level, but it depends on the student. I mean, you know, I’ve had some that you know have done brilliantly like I had a French student last year who, before starting with us did an IELTs testing on the 6.0 overall, studied with us for six months and by the end of the year, the six months, she got like an 8.0 overall with a couple of 8.5 and 7.5 so that’s a really, really high number. So that’s not uncommon too, I actually. How do you go from Colombia who recently did the test and again, passed it at 8.0 overall. So, I mean, those higher levels are harder to get too because of the subtleties and complexities of getting there, but generally speaking one turn most students got by one level. So, if I have a student that starts at 5.0 at the start of the term, generally speaking, they should be up to a 6.0 by the end of the, but it depends on every student, some are quicker, some are slower.
So, what’s normally the most difficult part to for people? I’ve heard that writing and speaking tend to be the most difficult parts, where you’ve got to produce, you’re not reading and you’re not listening. Is that true?
Yes and No. I think it depends on the individual so much and it depends on, you know, to some exten the first language, the country, the culture and so many different things. I might find, for example, maybe an Italian student my struggle with the reading part, whereas a brazilian student might struggle with the writing. I think it depends too much on the individual. You know, I think that there is definitely within IELTS there is a level that a lot of students get stuck at an academic which is 6.5, you know, you get a lot of students that are achieving 7s or higher in speaking and reading and listening, but that writing of the 6.5, they really get stuck on there.
That’s the story that I’ve heard of the writing constantly bringing the overall score down and that’s what´s screwing them over.
Absolutely and yeah that 7.5 Academic is a real sort of gateway mark for a lot of different things so, but in saying that, you know, like I think if you have a teacher who is very familiar with the writing criteria and how it’s marked and they needed very specific feedback on your task response, on your grammar, on your coherence and cohesion, on your spelling, your vocab, for example, and they say to you, well, based on you task response this is bringing you down to a 6.5, based on maybe you’re making the same grammatical errors too many times or whatever it is, I think, if you have that direct feedback and you can identify those mistakes, then it’s not really that hard, it’s just that you need someone to give that feedback and I think a lot of students miss that, unfortunately, and I think if you’re studying in a really large classroom, it’s really difficult for a teacher to provide that as well. I think having that sort of individualised, one on one sort of attention within a smaller class or small school, for me, anyway, I think that makes the biggest difference. You know, like, yeah, I think that what makes the difference.
Awesome, man. So, say you’re preparing for an exam. What if instead of asking you for, you know, the tricks and tips, what are the things that people who fail do too much of? What is the kind of person or what are the kinds of habits or things that someone who is going to not score very high, even if they have the ability, what are the kinds of things that they’re doing with regards to say study outside of class and then when they in the exam themselves? Are there any things that you would say look that’s a no-no, you need to not do that, we need to avoid this?
You know, I mean I think again it comes back to the individual and being able to identify with that student and help them to sort of understand where they’re making their mistakes and I don’t know if I can generalize about that, if you know what I mean, like it´s just… it really depends on each individual. But I mean as long as a student has an awareness of where they’re making mistakes and why they’re not achieving a particular level that they need and they’re given constructive feedback as to how to fix that, and you know that continual process I think at the end of the day that’s the most important thing.
Is there a trick to fostering that? Because I always get questions about building confidence and how do I speak English more confidently? It feels like quite often the answer is just do it, which isn’t necessarily a very productive and actionable piece of advice, but is it just a case of you just need to start trying and it’s only going to get easier with regards to building confidence for these exams or for just speaking in general?
I think building confidence is, again, comes down to the individual. I think there are some… nationalities I can say that are naturally or genuinely quite confident.
Yeah. Having said that, you know, not all Brazilians are out there and are extroverts, you know, like the stereotype, you know. So, I think it’s easy sometimes a little bit to stereotype in that way. But yeah I if I generalize there are some nationalities that I teach that are naturally more extrovert and I think that does help them in some ways to pick up language quicker. However, in other ways I think it’s also a burden to their language learning ability because quite often that confidence, unfortunately, can equate also with continually making the same mistakes and not really working on it and focusing on it. I always think if I could take you know maybe a South American brain and an Asian brain and put them together, you’d have the perfect language learner, but unfortunately we’re not like that and that’s not necessarily a bad thing too, you know, like we all bring our own you know baggage if you like to learning a second language.
And I think that if you if you’re able to identify those areas of your language and your language learning ability and then you work on the ones you weak at, then you you’re going to improve in the end. So, yeah. So, if you have a student who is typically you know maybe more shy than other students, I guess, for me it’s about building that confidence within the classroom. It’s about you know, as a teacher, for example, if I have a… you know, like when I ask students questions I try as much as I attempt to ask a question that I know they’re capable of answering. You know, like, I don’t put a student on the spot and make nervous about not knowing it. So, I guess, a lot of it comes down to your…the student experience of learning languages as well, I think you’re a great teacher can make an amazing difference for students, but then I think as well, unfortunately, a poor teacher can also have the opposite effect. So, yeah, if I have a student that’s a little bit more introvert and nervous about the language then, for me, it’s about identifying, like I said start, like their needs, interests and motivations. So, if I find that they’re particularly interested in sport or music or some particular topic and I use that in a classroom that’s immediately going to start building that confidence I think of them and being able to use the language. So, yeah, I guess once again it comes back to the individual and I guess as a teacher being able to understand that person and incorporate as much of them into the classroom as you possibly can.
What advice would you have for someone on…well, if you have any advice left over for doing well in the IELTS, but also just doing well with regards to their experience learning English in Australia are there any things that you would suggest students try and focus on or keep in mind when they come to Australia and study English or think about doing the IELTS?
Absolutely. I mean, apart from coming to Townsville to study English at Townsville International English School.
Sneaky plug there.
Honestly, I think do your research, you know, find a school that sort of matches or find a location in the school that matches what you want to get out of the experience. I guess take an interest as well. You know, I find students that that take an interest in the learning process do a lot better than those students that, you know, are a little bit disinterested. So, it’s a two-way street, like I think teachers can do a lot to help that, but I also think, you know, at the end of the day it’s about that student’s attitude towards learning as well. I mean for Raquel, for example, that’s one thing that is really in her favour. You know, she… I think very much had a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning the language and I think that shows in how quickly and how effectively she picked up the language. So, yeah, I guess advice to people probably yeah, do you research before you come, try to choose a place that matches your own what you want to get out of the experience.
And then once you actually arrive and get in the classroom, try dissidents immerse yourself, you know, like when the school does outings or excursions get involved with it, when they do offer conversation classes in the afternoons or whatever, get involved in it, and try to take an interest in everything, you know, ask questions. I think that goes a long way.
Awesome! Well, Kit, thank you so much! Again, Kit is from Townsville International English School, guys! I think Kel would say definitely go to Townsville if you´re thinking about coming to Australia and you haven’t pick the city yet so, thanks again so much for joining me, Kit.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
All right, guys. So, I hope you enjoyed that episode today. Thanks again Kit from the Townsville International English School for coming on the podcast and sharing all of your knowledge about the IELTs exam.
Guys, I hope this helps. I hope that if you are planning to do the IELTs exam in the future or if you’ve done it in the past and may need to do it again sometime soon, I hope that this episode helps. I would love to know what you think. So, make sure you leave a comment below on the website and I will check you guys soon.
Catch you, guys.
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By pete — 9 months ago
AE 435 – Vlog: He Destroyed My Phone!
G’day, guys, and welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I am Pete your host and this is another vlog episode where you will get to learn a bit of English.
So, in today’s episode, guys, I take this little guy, Leo, for a bit of a walk, and I go and grab some coffee, and I will also show you how Leo ended up smashing my iPhone screen. You naughty little boy.
It is my birthday today, so let me know, have you got a birthday in April as well? Comment below. And don’t forget to hit that Subscribe button, guys, and the bell notification if you want to stay up to date with every video that I release. Please do it. Please! Thanks, mate. Anyway, without any further ado, let’s get into it.
Alright, guys, morning! Today, I thought I would take the dog for a walk. This is Leo who I live with. Thought I would take him for a walk to the shops as I go and get some coffee. But he had been a naughty little boy, today and last night. Okay?
So, I’ve locked him outside. So, who’s the cheeky little boy who woke us up last night at 3 AM and puked on the floor in our bedroom. Yes, yes, that was you! You naughty, naughty boy.
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Time to let the prisoner back inside. Come on you pest. What are you doing? What are you doing? You getting into trouble? Have you been naughty. You look a little shameful.
Come here! What is this? What is this? What is this? He was your mate. What is this? You’ve torn him up. Hey? There’s guts everywhere on the ground here. You bit into his arse. Look at this! What is this? You bit his butt and you’ve opened it up, and now you’re just pulling the stuffing out. No shame! No shame!
Alright so, going for a walk. Trying to find a reason each day to get out of the house and be active. Try and do my 10,000 steps. I’ve decided to take this little guy for a walk and I’m just hoping that he doesn’t poop on the way.
So, I have this little bag. In Australia, it is very poor form, very bad form, to let your dog poo when you walking him and leave the poo on the ground.
So, you tend to have some kind of bag like this, usually, that you can buy at Safeway or Coles or Woolworths… Mate, 50 meters! 50 meters from the house! And then it’s like nothing happened. Like nothing happened. I can’t believe this shit! God damn it! God damn it! The shame! Where am I going to put this, mate? We just left the house. I’m going to have to go back and put it in the trash. I don’t want to carry it with me all the way to the cafe. Far out! Can’t believe this.
Alright, so hand in the bag, and then… That’s so unpleasant. That is so unpleasant. So, doing the right thing. Now we’re going back. Now we’re going back. I’ve got to find bin. I do not want to carry this with me all the way to the cafe and back. It’s always my luck, always my luck.
Come on! come on, you little rascal. He obviously feels a lot lighter now that he’s dropped off the package for the day. Come on! Stop sniffing around. Let’s go! Get to the bin.
Man, guys, get a load of these curtains. Are they pretty or what? Look at these are lace curtains and every window in this house. Beautiful. Good, good, not a poo. Alright, we’re okay with that.
You’ve got to check out… there’s probably about five or six people over here at the bus stop all being social. Every single one of them has headphones and their phone out like this, just staring at it. What have we become, guys? We’re animals. I guess, I can’t really talk. I’m walking up the street, but at least I’m talking to the phone, right? I’m talking. I’m being social.
What is this? Jesus! This must be like the biggest bread pin, or whatever this is, that I’ve ever seen. It’s huge. Look at that, mate. That’s like the same size as your head.
Alright, the tracksuit may not have been the best idea now that I’m walking and starting to warm up. It’s getting pretty hot. Something interesting that I noticed once coming to Canberra, guys, is these rock gardens on the nature strip, or on the front of houses. I’ve never seen them as, I guess, prominently used everywhere until I came here where the front of people’s houses seem to have these rock gardens everywhere.
I’m assuming it’s because it’s so dry around here and we’re so drought-prone that it’s a lot more of a pain in the butt to be… kind to take care of a lawn.
What was I saying? Because I think it’s too much of a pain to be trying to take care of a lawn, because the lawn ends up looking like this when it’s dry. Look at all that grass, guys. Beautiful grass. Pretty high. Lush, beautiful, green. This is grass lawns in Australia right here.
More rock gardens. Aren’t they beautiful, guys. Look at those stones. Lush! So, you could just spied this Australia’s best letterbox… and the dog decided to pull on the lead at that exact moment and I have shattered my phone screen. Good job, Pete. Well done! That’s a first for me. That’s a first. Far out! These vlogs, they’re dangerous, guys, they’re dangerous.
Look at this monstrosity. You see that, guys? Look at that chandelier. What on earth is that? Far out!
Oh, man! Two Aussie slang terms for you, guys. What is this? This is a ute. What is this? This is a Barbie.
I just saw something really cool, okay? So, I’m a bit of a biology nerd, as you may know, and I love gum trees, right? So, these are two different species of gum trees, but when gum trees are young, like this little one, they have really round leaves right. So, these leaves are incredibly round, but when they become adults, they get leaves like… where are we? Up here. See these really sharp leaves. So, I’ll see if I can find some. So, they end up looking like this. They end up looking sharp. So, baby, adult. Pretty cool.
You’ve got to be kidding me, mate! I don’t have a bag! God! Now, I just feel like a dick. How much have you got inside you dude? What did you eat? Did you eat a cow for breakfast or something. Come on! No shame. This guy has no shame.
Alright, so we were talking earlier about dick moves, guys. So, that’s why you should probably bring two bags with you. There is no way that I’m picking up his most recent deposit and putting that in my pocket. So, nature, you’ll just have to take one for the team. Sorry about that, guys. Poor form.
Yes, because I don’t trust this little guy enough to cross the road by himself. Too much energy today. How’s the Serenity, guys. How’s the serenity?
Alright, guys, so that is part one of what is going to be a two part vlog series. It ended up being about 20 minutes. So, it was a bit too long. I want to keep these short and sweet so that you can get through them really quickly.
Anyway, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button, guys, and the bell icon so that you can stay up to date with the notifications for when the second part comes out. And in the meantime, make sure that you comment below and let me know what you thought of this episode and what other kinds of things you would like me to vlog on in the future.
Anyway, guys, I will see you in part 2 shortly, in maybe a week or so. All the best.
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By pete — 1 year ago
In this episode of the Aussie English Podcast I interview snake catcher and reptile keeper Stuart Mckenzie about what it’s like catching snakes to earn a crust!
AE 385 – Interview: Catching Snakes to Earn a Crush with Stuart Mckenzie
G’day, guy. Welcome to this Aussie English interview episode. So this has been long-awaited, for me at least. I’ve been collecting interviews now on the sly without you knowing about it for probably three months, and I’ve been racking my brains trying to work out how to best use these to serve you guys.
Anyway, I’ve been running around interviewing mates, interviewing family members, and more recently, finding more interesting fairdinkum Aussies in order to get on the podcast, and today is the very first episode of that.
So, each of these interviews is going to be put on the podcast as a whole, but it’s then going to have a five to 10 minutes section broken down and turned into a lesson that’ll be added to The Aussie English Classroom. So, that’s for you guys who are enrolled in the Aussie English Classroom, and you want to use this to test your Aussie skills, to test your Aussie English skills, and to upgrade all of that. It’s going to come with a vocab test or quiz where you fill in the blanks in sentences with vocab from that section of interview, and it’s also going to come with a listening comprehension exercise or quiz.
So, this is my effort to bring you more fairdinkum, true blue Aussies who have interesting jobs, lives, or simply a cool story to share on the podcast in order to expose you to more Aussie accents, and vocab, and everything like that. I’m sure you guys are getting used to my accent and me talking all the time.
So, that’s the whole point. It’s all in the spirit of showing you the real Australia whilst also teaching you to understand and speak Aussie English.
So, just a reminder before we get started, this episodes obviously are going to have a longer intro than usual, because it’s the first of its kind, but before we get started, just a reminder that if you would like to support The Aussie English Podcast, if you want to help me do what I do, pay for the equipment that I get to make the podcast, put the food on my table, pay for the electricity bills, everything like that, you can do so via my Patreon page, which you can find at www.theaussieenglishpodcast.com/support or you can use the link in the transcript, guys. And you can sign up from as little as a dollar per month, and this all goes towards helping me bring you more content. So, please consider that if you’re enjoying the podcast.
If you want to upgrade your English and support the podcast at the same time, the best thing out there is the Aussie English Classroom, guys. This is an online learning environment that you enroll in. You jump in there, and you can complete things like portions of this interview as lessons with quizzes, and obviously also the expression episodes, which come with a lot more learning content. It’s growing every day, guys. The Aussie English Classroom is forever growing, forever expanding, with more and more content. You can get in there and try it for 30 days, an entire month, for just one dollar at www.theaussieenglishclassroom.com/register or again you can use the link in the description.
Anyway, guys. Enough for the intro here. Let’s get to today’s guest.
Today’s guest is none other than Stuart McKenzie. Stuart works at the Australian Zoo as a reptile keeper and has his own snake catching business, The Snake Catcher 24/7. This is located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He’s been removing snakes successfully from all kinds of strange places, as you’ll find out in the interview, for the last four and a half years now.
The interview had the potential to be interrupted by an urgent call from local residents needing snake catching skills, but fortunately we got through the whole thing without being interrupted. So, there you go.
Anyway, guys, here we go. I give you snake catcher and all-round top Aussie bloke, Stuart McKenzie.
Stuart, welcome to The Aussie English Podcast. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today, I really appreciate your time.
No, man, no dramas. I’m pretty stoked to be doing it. I was actually looking forward to this week.
Oh, brilliant! Thank you so much for your time and the interview may be cancelled during, but we’ll see how we go.
So, you’re a snake catcher up in Queensland. Most kids, when they were kids, obviously, wanted to be cops of firies when they grew up. How on earth did you end up being a snake catcher, and was that something you always wanted to do?
Yeah, I guess from an early age like, you know, a lot of my mates and stuff had, you know, dogs as pets and all that sort of thing and we thought about going down that road, but I… can’t remember, I’m just trying to remember the first instance where we decided to… ’cause I’ve actually go to shingleback lizards, you know, very sort of common lizards found around parts of Australia in all those sort of hot arid regions, but, yeah, we decided to get a pair of those and that was my first ever pet. So, that sort of started out a bit different for us, getting reptiles rather than a dog or a cat, which is pretty standard back sort of 15 years ago. And then, yeah, I guess, from there it sort of grew. Every time we’d go camping, we’d go looking for lizards, and more so lizards at the start just because I didn’t really know a lot about snakes sort of as a kid. So, I knew that lizards weren’t dangerous so we’d go catch them and that was fine.
At least the small ones.
Yeah, I think it is more my parents feeling like, yeah, nah, we can grab these because we didn’t know a lot about snakes at the time at the time. But I guess, it sort of grew from there. And then, I…I actually work at the Australia Zoo as well, which is pretty cool, and I worked there full-time until I sort of started my business, and then I sort of dropped back and worked there a couple of days a week, and work in the Reptile and Crocodile Department there. So, that sort of increased my love for reptiles and that sort of thing. And since then I’ve obviously started my business and have been doing the business now for nearly five years, and yeah, absolutely love it. It’s a pretty, pretty cool job.
So, when did you realise that you could earn money from getting snakes out of people’s houses and turn that into a career?
I guess…it was probably my first year at the Zoo. So, probably about six years ago, five years ago. Basically, a few of the guys who’d been around the coast for a while had their permits and stuff to catch snakes, and I sort of found out you can get a permit to catch snakes and, you know, you obviously have to have experience and all that sort of stuff. So, I went about getting a bit more experience in and being out and applying for the permit, and I finally got it, and then I sort of started my own little Facebook page, which nobody else had really done. There was a few guys around Australia doing it, but not really here on the Sunny Coast at the time.
And yes, I started my little Facebook page, got a bit of following, and I sort of realised that… you know, I knew you could always charge money for it, but I didn’t realise it could ever be sort of make a living out of it, if you know what I mean? I guess, I just took it a bit more seriously than a lot of others and, you know, did a bit of advertising, and sort of the Facebook page sort of started it all, and then I worked with a few other guys in the reptile industry around the coast. (I) did a bit of snake catching up with them, and then decide to sort of do my own thing, and then build a website, and then just went from there, and since and it’s just going gangbusters, and, you know, it’s gone from…I was reading all my records the other day, like records probably four years ago, maybe doing like five calls in a month to, you know, doing 130 calls in a month now. So, it’s yeah, it’s definitely, definitely increased tenfold, that’s for sure.
So, what’s the average office day like for you?
So, for instance today, like being Boxing Day I wasn’t expecting many. I did have one yesterday on Christmas Day, but I didn’t find the snake, it disappeared about three minutes before I got there, which was frustrating, but (I) had a look around and couldn’t find him. And… and yes, so the average day is probably around four or five calls a day, I reckon. So, that’s actually a job. So, that’s jobs that we all go out to and try to catch a snake. We could get upwards of 15-20 actual phone calls in a day. Because a lot of people call us for, you know, just to ask a question or they might have a completely harmless snake like a tree snake or a carpet python, and then… they’re happy for it to be there. They just want to know what it is, you know what I mean?
Or they might have a blue-tongue lizard or a water dragon or something like… some sort of species a lizard in their backyard and sort of asking questions about, you know, do I get along with the dog? You know, should I get it relocated, rah, rah, rah. So, a lot of times we’ll get calls and they just simply just don’t need to come out, but in a lot of the cases they do need us. A lot of people obviously have a fear of snakes. I think that’s the biggest driver for people to come for us to come out, their fear of snakes, and just having that peace of mind knowing that it’s not in the backyard anymore. You know, even… snakes play a pretty important role in the environment, you know what I mean? They’re looking after rodents. They got their own little spot within the food chain. But unfortunately, people just are petrified of them. And I can understand it, ’cause, you know, everybody is scared of something and just so happens that snakes and spiders is another big one, which people are obviously scared of. But yeah, so your average day is four or five jobs and a heap of phone calls. So, some days I’ll leave home, gee I could get a phone call at 6 o’clock in the morning and then, you know, I want more I get home and not eat until like 2 o’clock in the afternoon, ’cause you might be just back to back to back phone calls. So, yeah, and you could be driving all over the coast. You could get lucky and get a few close together, but it usually doesn’t work like that. Usually, you know, you’ll be 20kms down south and then you’re drop 30km up north, and then down south again, and in the middle. And yeah, I’ve done sort of 400-450kms a day before just driving.
So, it can be quite hectic, can be quite busy especially when it’s, you know… It can be quite serious some calls, like, there if there was a big eastern brown on the move inside someone’s house or something like that, which does happen. And I sort of started out by myself. And now got sort of a team of maybe… it’s probably 10 of us who, you know, they all have full time jobs, but I’ve definitely got three or four of us available every day in different areas so that, you know, for instance, I got a phone call for Central Sunshine, oh no, a little bit south, so down Caloundra way, and then also got a call at the same time for Caboolture, which is another 40 minutes south, and I was able to… I went to the Caloundra one, and I sent one of my guys, Chris, down to the Caboolture one. So, we can always offer that, you know, within sort of 20-25 minutes we’ll have someone at your house to be able to catch the snake hopefully and relocate it, but as with snakes you cannot control what they do.
So, how does the average phone call go? If someone calls you up, are they normally in a state of panic or only once they realise what the snake is?
Some people… it’s crazy, hey? Like, literally complete ends of the spectrum. So, some people ring me up and they’re like, “Hey! Stuart, just to let you know, I’ve got a snake, can you come and grab it for me? I’m just not a fan of them. (I’d) just prefer it is not here” or, you know, “I’ve got small pets or something. We’d like it removed”, you know, relatively calm, and I’ve had phone calls where I could not understand it, because they were literally balling their eyes out, in complete hysterics. So, yeah, it goes sort of either way. And then you get the odd ones, you know, no offense to the older generation, but the older generation haven’t sort of… back in their day, you know, any snake’s… any good snake’s a dead snake, you know what I mean? So, that was the attitude back in the day. We’re obviously trying to change that now. And yeah, sometimes they can be, you know… and a lot of people don’t think that you have to pay for it as well.
It’s getting better. Like, when I first started out five years ago, like, nearly every phone call was like, “Oh, what!? You have to pay for it?”.
“I’m providing a service.”
Exactly. It’s a professional service and we don’t charge a lot, you know what I mean? It’s not a lot to come out and, you know, potentially remove, you know, relocate something that might be a bit of a hazard.
And do the people, when they do have snakes that are like eastern browns, which are one of Australia’s deadliest or most dangerous snakes, do they often realise the gravity of, like, having that in the house before they call you or only afterwards do they clue in and say “ok…”?
No, sometimes. So, most of the time it’s an overreaction, I’d say. So, people think they’ve got a brown snake, but it’s actually, when I get there, it’s a tree snake, and its completely harmless. But in saying that, I’d prefer people to be like that. You get the occasional…For instance, the other night I got one. It was actually about 10 minutes away, and the guys had rang me early in the afternoon and they’d shooed this little snake out thinking it was a… they’re like, “Oh, yeah, I think it’s a tree snake”, and they shooed it out with a broom. Got it outside and then it turned up again inside again. So, I don’t know how that happened, but they’re like, “oh, can you just come and get us, it’s been really painful”. I rock up and, you know, the guys got not shirts on, walking around in bare feet, and I look into the pantry and it’s a one-and-a-half-foot eastern brown snake.
With the little brown spots on the back of the head and you just like…
The markings and a couple of… and it was actually a really pretty snake has stripes and stuff on it still. But yeah, just sometimes you run into some pretty crazy circumstances. And, now I’ve caught snakes literally in every situation now that you can think of like this. If you point to a section of your house, you know, I’ve caught a snake there. They can get anywhere, especially when they get inside, and the majority of snakes are capable climbers as well, including some of the venomous ones.
So, what are some of the strangest positions you’ve found them in?
Well, recently, I caught one in a printer. So, it went behind a Christmas tree, that video that went pretty crazy online, but yeah, it went in behind the Christmas tree, into a TV cabinet and, like, no joke…actually, I’ve got a printer here. So, I lifted up this part of the printer, and nah, it wasn’t there, it was in under here, like… I’m talking not a little red-belly, like, we’re talking it was probably four, four and a half foot long.
And it was a red-bellied black snake?
A red-bellied snake was tucked into the printer. I actually had to pull out the section where the paper goes sort of underneath and to get him. But yeah, I’ve caught them on top of fridges, you know, we catching them in roofs all the time. I’ve caught them under couches, in couches, on beds, you know, in closets, in ovens. Ovens is actually… The oven wasn’t obviously on, but…
It’s been twice now that… there’s a small, it’s only about an inch, maybe an inch and half of insulation that goes around the oven. So, it sort of separates the outer section, which we see, and the inner hot section, and I’ve pulled out two seven foot carpet pythons out of that insulation area. Like, I actually was about to accuse these people of being loony bin, because I’m like, “There is no way there’s a snake here”, they are like, “No, trust me we saw it go under the oven and it has to be there.”
It didn’t come out.
It’s not there, and then I kept looking, and here’s this massive snake tucked into the side of the oven. So, some of the places are pretty crazy.
So, would you consider it an overly dangerous job?
Majority of the time… like, don’t get me wrong, every snake has capabilities of biting you. So, whether it’s non-venomous, venomous, it’s going to defend itself if feels threatened, and usually when we catch him a snake feels threatened. So, you know, most people get to see the good side of snakes. You know, they’re nice and calm, and they’ll try and keep away from you as much as possible. You know what I mean? They’re not out there to chase people. Snakes don’t chase you or anything like that. You know, as soon as they see you, they’re more likely to flee than start coming towards you kind of thing. So, but as a snake catcher, we’re obviously doing what we would never ever encourage people to do and that’s actually going out to a snake and trying to catch it. So, when a snake feels threatened that’s when we get to see their defensive behaviour. So, it can be, it can be quite dangerous. I guess, we got the experience and, you know, the handling skills, we have to deal with situations. In saying that, they’re unpredictable, and I probably had the closest call of my life recently. It was probably about a month ago now, which…It sort of threw me, and it’s… I had sort of a big think about the way I do things afterwards, like it…I caught an eastern brown, he was about four-foot-long, and I should’ve…I should’ve brought my bag with me. Like, the bag was there, it was about sort of seven metres behind me, but I sort of left it back, and I sort of brought my hook with me, and I caught the snake, and then I sort of had to carry the snake by the tail, and that’s how… well, just below the cloaca is where we hold them on the body side, and yeah, sort of had to carry him back, and as I was carrying him back, I finally got to my bag, I had to go through a fence, I had to go next to some couches and stuff. So, if I had brought my bag with me and put him in straight away, it wouldn’t happen. But as I picked my bag up, he saw that movement and he shot up straight up past my hand, literally got within a centimeter of my hand.
I just got lucky, because he didn’t obviously make contact. If he had’ve sort of headbutted my hand, then he probably would have open his mouth and bit me. So…
And what would have happened in that case? What would have the situation had to have been, you know, escalated to?
I would have had to…I would’ve bagged him. So, I would’ve quickly bagged him up, and then I would’ve basically made sure he was secure, and then that would be within 10 seconds of it happening, and then I would’ve sat down and got the people to put a bandage on, you know, do all the appropriate first aid for a snake bite and call an ambulance, and just go through that whole process, and yeah, start, yeah, crossing my fingers.
So, obviously that’s never happened though, yet. You’ve never been bitten on the job, at least by a venomous snake.
Never been bitten by a venomous snake. I am hoping to keep it that way. Yeah.
It’s crazy how there seems to be two different kinds of people: there’s a guy, I’ve forgotten his name, that I remember as a professor, he’s a bald dude in Queensland, of venomous animals?
Yeah! And I remember him being interviewed and, I think it was him, and they said, “how many times have you been bitten?”, and he was like “oh, just 22.”. And you’re just like, “What?!”, and he was like “oh, but, you know, those with the envenomations, not the other ones”, and you just like “yeah, okay”.
I’m hoping to keep it that way, but you know, I guess, they are very unpredictable and, you know, you can only hope that doesn’t happen and do it and do your best to make it not happen. I don’t want to jinx myself.
So, could you talk a bit about the types of snakes in Australia? So, what sort of variation there is? And yeah just give that a whirl.
Yes, so here on the Sunny Coast we’re pretty lucky. Well, I think we’re lucky. People probably don’t think we’re lucky who hate snakes. We’ve got around probably 18 or 20 species of snake found here on the Sunny Coast, which includes… thats including some species which are found to be further west and maybe their distribution just touches the Sunshine Coast, you know what I mean? But we’re pretty lucky to have a fair bit of variation. So, usually, there’s probably about seven or eight snakes, like, the common ones that I can catch on a weekly basis, which is pretty cool. Like you go down south, the guys in Melbourne and Adelaide and those sort of areas, and, you know, even in Sydney and a lot of the time those guys are only catching a couple of species. Like, the Victorian guys catch Copperheads and Tiger snakes all the time and that’s about it. Maybe the odd eastern brown, couple pythons. But, you know, up here on the sunny coast we’re pretty lucky. We’ve got a massive range, and I think it’s just the habitat types around here that enables there to be that many species around this area. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to catch a Tiger snake, ’cause I’ve never caught one before. There are some tigers snakes found in little pockets around the Sunny Coast, but very, very hard to find. But now, I see some of the other guys who catch Tiger snakes nearly every day. I’m like God, damn it! But, I’m sure they are like… They’d love to catch some of the stuff that we catch.
It’s snake envy.
Yeah! But I guess, you know, Australia’s pretty lucky, we got a massive range of elapids venomous snakes. We’ve got a lot of snakes in the top sort of 10 to 20 world’s most venomous snakes including definitely the top sort of 4 or 5 with the Inland Taipan, which is found out west. You got your eastern brown snake, which I get to catch, which I’m very lucky to catch that. They’re found…a vast majority of the eastern side of Australia. You know, you got yeah, red-bellies, they’re not in top five, but they’re obviously a pretty cool snake, that everybody loves. They’re a very…how can you say that? They’re an obvious snake. They’re like, you know, everybody knows what a red-bellied black snake looks likes. Whereas, brown snakes get confused for about another five or six species around here just on the Sunny Coast. And then yeah, you the coastal taipan, you got the Tiger snakes and the Death Adders.
So, we’ve got a lot of… a lot of venomous and dangerous snakes. But, as I say to people, snakes are only dangerous if you let them be. So, you know, you see a snake in the wild, you keep your distance, the snake’s not dangerous. Now, you go up to it, try and get photos, try and catch it, that’s when the snake becomes dangerous.
That’s it. Once you go for that selfie, right? Next to it here, right? That’s the no-go zone.
Exactly right. So, I guess it’s… That’s why we’re doing the Facebook pages, that’s why we do our posts, you know, to try and teach people to just keep your distance and be smart, and it’s all commonsense. It’s like with most animals, you know what I mean? A lot of it’s commonsense.
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So, who do you find the most… the people who do get bitten, what kind of activities are they doing that leads to them putting themselves in a position to be bitten?
It’s usually people trying to catch or kill them. So, that happens 90% of the time, I reckon. When someone tries to get a shovel out or tries to hit them with a stick or just tries to catch and remove themselves. So, it’s, you know, snakes can move so quickly and if you’re coming out with a shovel, not only it is illegal to kill any native wildlife, and, you know it’s massive fines, but it’s just so dangerous. Like, you coming out at an eastern brown with a shovel, he just going to see this big object moving towards him. And he’s going to defend himself, and I think people forget how quick they can be, you know what I mean? They’re not going to be able to chase you down or anything like that, but that’s strike and that initial speed is quite crazy.
That’s crazy. So, what has…
So, that’s the main way. Yeah, like the odd person will get bitten accidentally, like, gardening in their… you know, picking some weeds out or putting their hand into a bush, and then the snake sees his movement and all I think is a rat or something, and that’s the reason they bite, but (the) majority of the time it’s when people try and catch or kill a snake. So…
And can you tell us the difference between the different kinds of Australians snakes? Elapids and pythons, for example.
So, we’ve got three. We’ve got the elapids, the colubrids, and the pythons. So, pythons are your egg layers. They’re all egg layers and non-venomous. Your colubrids, which is the biggest actual group or family of snakes around the world, but we’ve only got, I think, it’s six or seven. So, Australia doesn’t have many colubrids, that’s like your brown tree snake, for instance, which is… and some colubrids are venomous, some aren’t.
So, they kind of like that middle-ground. They have… that’s why I guess, they got the biggest, you could say, variety of snakes around the world, and then a largest group. And then, you got your, yeah, venomous front-fanged elapid snakes, which we’ve got plenty of those here. So, I guess, you know, we… with the pythons and that, they are quite recognisable. You know, they’ve usually got that big sort of a busty head and they’ve got that model blotch pattern on them. They’re quite a sort of robust snake compared to a lot of your venomous stuff. I guess, when it gets confusing between the three is when the snakes is smaller.
You know, even pythons, for instance, they… when they’re young and within their first couple of years, they can still remain sort of like a browny colour. They’re gonna remain brown their whole life, but usually they’d sort of change to a bit more greeny shades of colour and that sort of thing, but, I guess, yeah, it’s when the snakes are small and young is when you can… when you make that sort of confusion, if it makes sense. That’s where people get sort of confused.
And sometimes… you know, and I’ve been doing this for a little bit now, but it sort of blows my mind sometimes when, you know, I’ll go at someone’s house, and they’ll be like, “I got a brown snake!”, and I walk in and it’s a carpet python. And, I’m like, “How can you confuse that?”. But then, again, if you’re not someone who deals with snakes and the carpet python has got a bit of brown on him, then you’re going to think it’s a brown snake. And I guess… you know, that’s where that confusion comes in. That’s why we don’t want people to take things into their own hands and that sort of thing.
And… but yeah, it is pretty cool the amount of variety we have here in Australia, you know what I mean? And it’s crazy where some of the snakes can be found as well. Like, some of the habitats and some of the temperatures that some snakes… like, you look at the fear snake, they’re way out west in that sort of clay… you know, earth…there’s just nothing, you know what I mean? There’s just literally nothing except a few cracks in the ground and that’s where they spend majority of the time going through the cracks looking for guidance and looking for things to eat. But, you know, you just… when you get out you just think that nothing could survive.
So, I guess that leads… sorry, I guess that leads well into what role they have in the ecosystem? What sort of roles do most snakes sort of occupy and why they are important?
Well, that’s it. I guess, like, you need to understand, everyone needs to understand that, you know, there’s always a food chain in every ecosystem, and without snakes, like, we would literally be overrun with things like rodents and small marsupials, like, whether the marsupials and mammals and stuff are native, you know, they’re still part of the food chain, and I guess, snakes play their roles especially with your rodents, you know what I mean? People can have serious rodent issues, especially on farms and bushland areas. I guess, ’cause it’s just one of those things where…and even frog species. So, you obviously have a lot of native frogs, and frogs have been… The cane toads obviously had a massive effect on native frog species, even snake species, and goanna species, just ’cause anything that eats them basically die, except the keelback (snake), which is pretty cool. But yeah, they’re just… they’re kind of in that middle zone in the food chain, which is also, you know, is as important as the apex predator or as the bottom of the food chain, you know, you need that… need those levels in that food chain, and the snakes need to be around, ’cause snakes feed other animals as well, you know, kookaburras and different birds will prey on snakes and, you know, it’s… I guess, it’s just that position that they hold in the ecosystem.
If they were to go out, the rodent numbers would go through the roof, which is going to affect crops, it’s going to affect the whole habitat. You know, when you get little rodents like that taking over a habitat is just…it’s not good at all.
Any time it gets out of balance.
That’s it, it’s all about balance and that sort of thing. So, I guess, you just have to make sure that…. and the problem is when us humans as well are playing a pretty poor impact on them as well, especially here… I see on the coast all the time, people always ask me, “Why are snakes coming into people’s home? Why are we seeing them so often?”, and I guess… and the amount of infrastructure, the amount of buildings that, you know, get built and bushland areas getting knocked down these days is crazy. You hear about it on the TV all the time, and I realise that, you know, humans need somewhere to live and all this sort of stuff, but we’re still knocking down all these habitat, which, you know, not just snakes, like, hundreds of species of animals. Not just reptiles, I’m talking about mammals, birds, everything. They rely on that habitat and when that’s gone, then where are they going to go? You know what I mean?
The main reason why they’re seen around homes is because, one: there’s rodents. You know, rodents are attracted to homes, due to scraps or places to hide, chicken coops, any pets that you leave out feed for, that’s going to attract rodents. Then we’ve got skinks and frogs and insects, obviously attracted to the light, you know, that’s why the geckos come try and eat the insects, and the frogs come because there is either a water source or to the light as well, to try and, you know, grab some insects and these are all the things that snakes eat. So, that’s another main reason why snakes are sort of found around the Sunny Coast and around homes, not even just the Sunny Coast, around the whole of Australia, around homes.
So, what advice would you have for someone who has come from overseas and wants to see snakes? What advice would you have to them, for them*, if they came straight to you and said, “What’s the best and safest way to see snakes in Australia?”.
I… You know, I always recommend that people that got a fear of snakes and want to sort of overcome that then go to a zoo or go to an animal…. whether it’s a sanctuary or a little, you know, park or whatever where they can go and actually hold a snake. You know, that’s always a good start, where you can go hold a snake in a controlled environment where it’s safe to do so. Like, you know, don’t go out in the bush to try and grab a snake and just put it in your shoulders, because, you know, who knows where it is? And even the pythons which have a… you know, most of the time probably 9 out of 10 pythons are really well behaved, but if you get the bad one, he’s going to try to bite your face off. So, I guess, it’s all about getting that… being able to experience wildlife and experience snakes in a safe and controlled environment.
And if you want to go looking for snakes, most of the time in Australia it’s just easy to go for a bushwalk. You have to obviously time, certain times of the day, sort of morning and afternoons, and weather conditions are going to affect it, time of the year is going to affect it, even the moon sometimes affect it, you know what I mean?
We… I’ll often go herping with some of my, you know, reptile mates, and we’ll go out at night time and go have a look for some snakes on the move at night, but if there’s a full moon out, you usually don’t see them. So, there’s a heap of stuff that sort of a affects snakes, and I guess, if you’re going to go out looking for snakes, you need to be prepared to keep… like, give them some space, like, not be one of those people who as soon as you see it, you going to go and try to catch it and photograph it or…
I guess, that’s with all wildlife. If you want to go out looking for it, you just got to respect it. I guess, respect is a big thing when it comes to snakes, you just got to learn to respect them, give them the respect they deserve. But you can… everybody can still enjoy them and watch them in the wild, ’cause even I get a kick out of seeing a snake in the wild. Like, I… it’s kind of… catching snakes for people is not really… it doesn’t feel to me like seeing them in the wild. I guess, for other people when a snake rocks up in their backyard that is, but, you know, when I’m out bushwalking or I go for walk with my wife or take the dog for a walk and we see a snake across the path I’m like, “Damn! that’s pretty awesome”, you know what I mean? Seeing a snake in the wild like that. People probably think that’s a bit funny, the fact that I catch catch them every day, but that’s…this is my job, and that does seem like seeing snakes in the wild to me. When you actually go out looking for them and you see one on the move, in the bush, or whatever, it’s just like, yeah, that’s pretty cool. But, even I most of the time… well, all of the time, basically, if I see one in the wild, I’ll just keep my distance and, you know, there’s no point putting myself in danger, like, picking up a venomous snake when I don’t need to. You know what I mean? And, I don’t want to encourage that either. So…
Two more questions then we can finish up.
What advice would you have for any unfortunate tourist or Australian alike who does happen to be bitten, whether it’s a python or a venomous snake, I assume they’re not going to know in the moment, what would you say they should do and what would you say they should potentially carry with them?
Yeah. So, I guess, if anybody takes out… takes away any information from this chat, and this is probably the most important thing, because with snake bite, you know, applying or doing the appropriate first aid can literally be the difference between life and death. Like, it literally can. And when… if you were to get bitten by a snake, anywhere, say, on the arm or leg, it has been changing over the years, but if you were to get bitten anywhere on the arm or leg, I’m just going to try to set this up, just say I get bitten on the hand. What I’m going to do is, initially, you’re obviously going to make sure the danger is gone. So, if you’re in your backyard and you’ve been bitten by a snake, and the snake still on the move in the backyard, I’d probably quickly go inside and sit down, in the cool, on the couch, and relax, and then, immediately, have one person calling the ambulance and other person applying a first aid bandage.
So, what you want to do, the latest thing that I’ve heard, you know, (it) used to be wrap a whole bandage around the bite site and then wrap another one up the arm. The latest information that I’ve been given is that just say you get bit anywhere on the arm, you start down the end, you wrap all the way to the top, and then all the way to the bottom. So, what you want to do is you want to slow down the floor of blood through the lymphatic system. So, the lymphatics system’s just under the skin, and you obviously don’t want that the venom travelling all the way out to your lymph nodes, ’cause that’s when it’s going to get converted sort of into the bloodstream, and that’s when you’re going to be in a bit of strife. So, you want to this apply pressure. You know, if you don’t have… I always recommend every Australian home has a couple of snake bite bandages in their home, and I actually joined up with the company recently, and I sell them to people, and often give them away as well to people when I go and catch snakes for, because I always ask the question, “Do you have a snake bite bandage or do you just have a bandage and general?”. (It) Doesn’t have to be a specific snake bite one, just a normal crepe or elastic bandage or whatever they’re called. Just apply that to the bite site and you’re going to remain calm, and by this time someone’s already rung the ambulance, and you’re going to always wait for the ambulance to come to you.
I guess, sometimes, there’s probably… I don’t like to ever sort of encourage people going to the ambulance, but I guess, if you are in a place of no service or you ring the ambulance and they recommend (to) get the person who is bidden to lay down as calm as possible in the back of a car and we’ll meet you somewhere, like, this is if you’re three or two hours, literally in the middle of nowhere. But you know, here on the Sunny Coast any or built up area really along the East Coast or majority of towns and stuff around Australia is going to have access to an ambulance pretty quickly. So, it’s always best to just remain calm, stay seated, or lie down, or whatever’s a comfortable position for you, and wait for the help to arrive, and then that’s when they’ll pick you up, take you back to the hospital, do some tests, they’ll assess your condition, and basically monitor you for 12 to 24 hours. If you ever rock up to… I know every situation’s different, but if you ever get to the hospital and after three hours like, “Nah, you’re all good, we’ll let you go”, stay there!
You know, I haven’t heard it happening often, but I’ve had a few times where a few things gone on where they’ve asked… they’ve said “Yeah, no, you’re all good to go”, but I’ve heard of reactions of snake bite happening six hours after the bite, you know what I mean? Or… you know, never get that the bandage taken off until you’re at hospital or until you had tests done, you know what I mean? Like, it needs to stay on there, because people have died because a bandage has been removed too quickly or little, you know, little mistakes like that. Just… And always mark the bite site too, that way, on the bandage, that way they could sort of cut into the bandage just on around the bite side and then take a swab to work out what it is, what kind of snake it was. It’s just so important. It’s something you just go take very seriously, you know what I mean? A lot of snake bites are dry bites. So, that’s basically a snake will bite and won’t envenomate, and they’ll do that a lot because if you think about producing venom for a snake it takes a lot of energy, and they’re not necessarily going to want to use it on a human being who’s 40 times their size, ’cause they can’t eat it.
They’re usually going to use it on little mammals or little reptiles or whatever. To be able to… not only does it subdue their prey and kill them very quickly, but it also sort of helps the digestion as well. So, I guess, it’s about… you know, a lot of bites can be dry bites, but you just can’t take that chance.
You know what I mean? ‘Cause the time that you think, “Oh, nah, it’s a dry bite, she’ll be right”, it won’t be a dry bite. And, yeah, you just can’t take that risk.
Alright, last question: what should people do if a snake is in their house?
Yes, so if you see a snake inside your house, I would absolutely get it relocated. Now, if it’s inside your house and obviously a window’s been left open or it’s come in an open door, even if it’s non-venomous, I usually recommend people to just get someone out, get it relocated, especially if you don’t know where it is. If it’s in your backyard, I guess, it’s a personal choice. You know, even if it’s a venomous snake, a lot of people on farms call me and they’ll send me a picture of a massive six-foot eastern brown, they’re like, “Oh! You know, we don’t mind, we’ve brought the dogs in, he’ll just move on”, you know, they’re on property, the snake’s going to move on, and by the time I get there I probably won’t be able to find it anyway.
It’s more so when you’re in suburbia and you’ve got a snake in your backyard cruising around, (the) best thing to do is get everybody away from it, so remove any danger. So, get the kids, the dogs, pets all adults inside, or if it’s inside, get everybody outside, but it’s always good to have someone keeping an eye on it from the distance. And I guess, if it goes into an area where you can’t see it, so if it goes in under the couch, keep an eye on all areas around the couch. Don’t let anybody near there until you see it move out, or even when it moves out, just keep everybody away. So, I guess yeah, if it’s inside I’d always recommend to just call someone, keep an eye on it, if it goes into a bedroom, just lock the door, don’t worry about keeping an eye on. If it goes in any room that you can isolate, lock the door, don’t have to lock it, but shut the door, put a towel under the door so it can’t get back out underneath the door, and then we’ll worry about it when we get there. The snake catcher can just open the door and go through everything that’s no drama. You know, it’s probably safer than someone standing in a room, which can be quite a tight space and then having to worry about a snake on the move. But when it’s outside, it’s kind of personal preference, but I always recommend if there’s pets involved and it’s a venomous snake or big python, just to get it relocated. You know, we… Nothing… The snake’s never harmed. You know, we just pick them up, we relocate them into bushland within sort of four or five kilometres according to our permit. And, we always pick a good spot, you know, to release them, where we know they’re going to be able to still thrive and have access to food and water and shelter.
Brilliant, Stuart McKenzie, snake catcher, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Mate, no worries, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
How can people find you? Especially, if they need this snake catching help up in Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Yeah. So, my business is called The Snake Catcher 24/7. So, if you’re not on the sunny coast, I guess, it’s either a matter of just Googling ‘snake catchers’ for your area, or going on Facebook, a lot of snake catchers have Facebook. But yeah, if you’re on the Sunny Coast, The Snake Catcher 24/7, and my phone number is 0408545440. And, like I said, 24 hours a day, if you have a snake at three o’clock in the morning, do not hesitate to call your local snake catcher, ’cause we’re all 24/7, even though it’s hard to get up sometimes at three o’clock to catch a snake, we’re happy to do it, ’cause is what we do.
Brilliant. Thank you so much for your time, mate, I appreciate it.
No worries, thanks, mate.
See you, guys!
Alright, guys. I hope you enjoy that episode with Stuart McKenzie, snake catcher. Remember, if you would like his services, if you guys live in the Sunshine Coast area in Queensland, his phone number is 0408 545 440. He is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, if you have a snake in your house and you need it removed, give him a call.
So, I hope you enjoy this episode. There’s loads of Aussie slang, expressions, vocab. He’s got a great accent. And remember, if you would like to support the podcast and help me bring you more interviews like this, you can do so via my Patreon page the link will be in the transcript, and if you would like to support the podcast whilst learning Australian English and upgrading your English, make sure you get into the Aussie English Classroom and finish today’s 5 to 10-minute segment as the exercises that I’ve created for you in there. So, that’s designed to teach you Australian English even faster.
So, that’s it for today guys. I hope you enjoy this episode, and I’ll see you in the next one. Peace out, guys!
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