Australian Identity

Length: 14 Pages 3574 Words

Introduction Is it thongs, the beach and the sun? Or Flies, kangaroos and the bush? Images such as these have been used to describe Australia for decades, however do they truly encapsulate the Australian national identity? The typical Aussie has been described as “male, easy going, fair and democratic, having a healthy disrespect for authority, and a dry laconic humor” Yet when we observe the Australian society many of these images contradict reality. During the 1990’s social psychologists have stated Australia is facing an identity crisis , and if this is so where does this leave the Australian image today? Many dates in our past can be seen to shape the Australian national identity. From colonial beginnings (1788 to early 1800s), to the wild gold rush days (1850s), to Federation (1901), to World War One (1914-1918), to the Depression (1930s), to World War Two (1939-1945) with its threat of invasion (1941-1942) . It seems that from colonization to World War Two we knew where we stood. We were British subjects from a small British colony. We thought of ourselves as Australians, yet British-Australians loyal to the Mother Country. We believed our convict past (a history that we were at times proud of, at others Continue...

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The ABS explains this: 'Changes in living arrangements and family characteristics over the last two decades are the outcome of various demographic and social trends. If Australia is to grow from this we must accept who we are today, it is always important to remember our past, but we must face up to our true national identity and accept that identity with pride. Whether this is true or not, the reality is that the traditional Australian identity is no longer a real Australian image, and because of that we are facing an identity crisis. Not waiting for orders, or for the boats to reach the beach they sprang into the sea an forming a sort of rough line they rushed at the enemy . ashamed) could explain a great deal about the Australian character and our chests swelled with pride at talk of the mighty Anzac's and their conquest that changed a nation . Also one third of all women were married at the age of twenty now only 5 are married at that age. Both brides and grooms are older now than they were in the 1960s and 1970s. Arthur Calwell, Minister of Immigration said in 1947 ' We have 25 years at most to populate this country before the yellow races are down upon us' Today the 'white Australian policy' is abolished, yet the sentiment continues. They believe that individualism and economic rationalism (the contemporary form of liberalism) has acted as an agent of ruin, loosening the bonds and slowly destroying the community. We boast that Australia is the land of opportunity, but comment that foreigners are better at seizing that opportunity than ourselves. A campaign which was doomed from the start, achieved nothing, wiped out 85, 000 men and wounded another 20, 000 . And although we are becoming more accommodating towards 'outsiders' our multiculturalism is only welcome on our terms. Traditional views hold that Australia is a place where people who want to work hard can generally succeed, and that future prosperity is more or less assured.


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