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 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.