The Australian National Identity.
Let me begin by clarifying the word ‘identity’. The word identity, according to the dictionary means “The state of being exactly that which has been claimed, asserted, or described.” Now if you ask me, our national identity as Australians is not how the media has claimed or described it to be. To see this, I think we need to take a step back and view Australian television shows and advertisements the way a foreigner to our country would view it. We do not advertise ourselves very well, therefore providing people with various misleading images.
Our image and identity has mostly lingered with the representation of the Bushmen who are macho, tough, rough characters who set out to conquer a difficult landscape. The image could even be described as a bit distant and dull. It is commonly thought that the primary source of this image is perhaps because of our geographical isolation on earth.
Although, I don’t believe this is ultimately why we have given this ambiguous image of ourselves to foreigners. It all comes down to our media. If you were to ask a person living overseas what came to mind when they thought of Australia, I’m sure it would be either our unique fauna, for example Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas etc, or our recognizable sites like Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef or The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Although Australians are proud to have these as symbols, our very diverse and multi-cultural population has gone unnoticed. We are a country that has accepted differences in language, culture, human rights, refugee status, values, beliefs, food, behaviour and laws. Individuals living here have learnt to live with differences around them in their lives. Although, some multiculturalists claim Australia has no distinct culture of its own, I think this is because the Australian identity is of a more elusive quality.
Like Richard White said- “There is no ‘real’ Aust...