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emu parade

the picking up of litter from an area, usually by an organised group of people, often as a school punishment. Compare emu bob, emu patrol, emu stalk, emu walk.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] Also Emu Parade.

Contributor's comments: When growing up in the sixties west of Mackay [Qld] it was only ever referred to as an emu parade, not patrol.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] "Emu Parade" not "Emu Patrol" - meaning: picking up rubbish.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in the Central Burnett [Qld] where the words used were always an emu PARADE.

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] A similar term was used at school and other places to pick up litter or when a small item was lost and a wide search was needed to find it. I cannot remember the exact term that was used - may have been "emu stalk" or parade.

Contributor's comments: We also called it an Emu Parade, at school in Brisbane in the 80s.

Contributor's comments: Emu parade for a group clean up in a school or by a group generally is widely used in SA as well, eg All the students at school and several community groups went on emu patrols to clean up the town on Clean up Australia Day.

Contributor's comments: We used to have 'Emu Parades' at school on the far west coast of SA (usually when the whole class was in strife).

Contributor's comments: Emu Parade was a term used for picking up litter when I was at school in Victoria. Cannot remember how widespread it was used but it is a term I recognise.

Contributor's comments: I also remember it from primary school in the 50's on the Central Coast NSW. "Emu" would refer to the resemblance to an emu while walking bending over, "pecking"/picking up the rubbish off the ground.

Contributor's comments: I remember emu parades very clearly form my youth at Mt Gravatt State School in the 1960s. It meant exactly that - picking up stones. I wonder what happened to them then?

Contributor's comments: [Sydney informant] a large group of students forced to comb the school grounds and pick up rubbish: Principal: "I was walking around the quad today and was appalled by the amount of litter, blah, blah, blah, so before you go off to Period 7, we're going to have an emu parade." Students: [collective groan]

Contributor's comments: At our school in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, it was called an Emu bob.

Contributor's comments: At boarding school in Geelong (Vic) in the 1950s it was always 'emu parade', never 'emu bob'.

Contributor's comments: We used the term "emu parade" at school in the 1970's/80's in Inverell NSW.

Contributor's comments: Can also mean people at a racecourse picking up betting slips hoping to find a discarded winner. I've heard this usage at Moonee Valley, Geelong, Camperdown and Warrnambool.

Contributor's comments: 'Emu parade' .. was our version of it, esp. checking a camp site before leaving it after packing up! My mother, born in 1921 in SA probably was the first one I heard it from. It seems when we used it as kids no one commented on it!

Contributor's comments: Scab duty was what we called the emu parade type punishment given for playing up in class or out in the playground.
emu bob

the picking up of litter from an area, usually by an organised group of people, often as a school punishment. Compare emu parade, emu patrol, emu stalk, emu walk.

Contributor's comments: Emu-bob is a military term used esp in Nothern Victoria and Southern NSW.

Contributor's comments: At Kapooka (Army training Wagga Wagga, NSW) we were required to do "Emu Bobs" which had us picking up smoke butts, rubbish etc. I guess we all looked like emus standing, bending, walking, bending.... doing the emu bob....

Contributor's comments: Recently heard this as "emu bob" by a man preparing to mow grass near Ballan, Victoria. Don't know if he was a local, but instantly knew the meaning of this expression.

Contributor's comments: Known as an "emu bob" in the Armed Forces (ie Australia-wide). Still very commononly in use. Was always the last action when leaving an area - "Sgt/Cpl/Etc - emu bob the area"

Contributor's comments: At our school in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, it was called an Emu bob.

Contributor's comments: [Tasmanian informant] Whilst an army cadet in the 60's we had to do an emu bobs around the barracks.
emu patrol

the picking up of litter from an area, usually by an organised group of people, often as a school punishment. Compare emu bob, emu parade, emu stalk, emu walk.
Contributor's comments: [Tolga, Qld, informant] When I was a kid the teachers got us to clean up the litter on the playground by mounting an emu patrol. To do this all the kids would line up side by side and move across the playground picking up any litter directly in front of them.

Contributor's comments: In the 60's emu patrol was a common punishment for minor rule breaking at school in Wagga Wagga [NSW].

Contributor's comments: Emu parade for a group clean up in a school or by a group generally is widely used in SA as well, eg All the students at school and several community groups went on emu patrols to clean up the town on Clean up Australia Day.

Contributor's comments: I also remember it from primary school in the 50's on the Central Coast NSW. "Emu" would refer to the resemblance to an emu while walking bending over, "pecking"/picking up the rubbish off the ground.

Contributor's comments: The term 'Emu Patrol or stalk 'was used in the eastern goldfields of WA where I was raised.

Contributor's comments: Pick up rubbish from a sports ground/camp ground/school yard. Used extensively in South Australia in the 70's: "C'mon guys, let's have an emu patrol before we go."

Contributor's comments: 'Emu parade' .. was our version of it, esp. checking a camp site before leaving it after packing up! My mother, born in 1921 in SA probably was the first one I heard it from. It seems when we used it as kids no one commented on it!
emu stalk

the picking up of litter from an area, usually by an organised group of people, often as a school punishment. Compare emu bob, emu parade, emu patrol, emu walk.

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] A similar term was used at school and other places to pick up litter or when a small item was lost and a wide search was needed to find it. I cannot remember the exact term that was used - may have been "emu stalk" or parade.

Contributor's comments: The term Emu Patrol or Stalk was used in the eastern goldfields of WA where I was raised.
emu walk

the picking up of litter from an area, usually by an organised group of people, often as a school punishment. Compare emu bob, emu parade, emu patrol, emu stalk.
Contributor's comments: We [from Brisbane] called it an "emu walk" - slight variation to "emu patrol".

Contributor's comments: The Army had emu parades all too often!