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Australian Identity in The Castle
 Australian Identity

What is it to be Australian? :

Is the image of an Australian someone tanned, blond and lean, casually relaxing next to a BBQ with his/her mates, yakking away in a broad Aussie accent after a game of footy/netball/the beach, a beer in one hand and a sausage in the other shrugging off the flies? Certainly a few current TV commercials would have us believe this is who we are.

Who are we? What are we as a people? What are our national characteristics? Where have these come from and how has our cultural identity developed?

Some influences on the nature of Australian identity :

Our history : our convict heritage – starting in a new land having to make-do and use our initiative to survive;our early settlers who saw Australia as a chance to make a new start, battlers without money but with a pioneering spirit-go-for-it mentallity ready to work hard on the land to carve out a new life; out on the Goldfields living on our wits, working hard, looking out for our mates, making do with what we had around us, enterprising, hard-working; at Gallipoli and in war, standing by our mates who rely on us, not afraid of a fight, giving better than we get; as larrikins, standing up against authority, being prepared to fight the police and politicians taking money from us on the goldfields, fighting at the Eureka Stockade, like Ned Kelly the battler and common man fighting the cops, the rebel. These are only a few examples.

Our geography : the vastness and emptiness of our continent, the challenges it throws at us that we cope with; the harshness and enormous diversity of our climates; our deserts and our many oceans whose shores most of us live upon;

Our cultural and sporting achievements, ; our achievements and stars in the Arts be it film, TV, radio, ballet, music, painting ; our pastimes of sport, the bush and the beach; our Australian foods and drinks.

Our heroes, cultural (Ned Kelly, bushrangers, Breaker Morant etc as mentioned) and sporting; our explorers, statesmen, inventors, entertainers; our stars of stage and screen. These heroes or cultural icons we see as representing the larger national qualities in us as a people (even though of course, each of these individuals are just that, we universalise their significant traits and identify them with the quality "Australian-ness").

These are only some of the things that have shaped the Australian character. The focus of our activity is how some of these are reflected in Australian film.

See also Elements of Australian Cultural Identity and Essay

See also

The Castle

Galipolli

Australian Character Links:

  1. Australia's National character

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Feel free to access these resources for study purposes or classroom use. However where they have been directly dowloaded for distribution or copied and provided as notes, please acknowledge as a courtesy. John Watson