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 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 . Yet like the Anzac’s, how much of this talk is myth or reality?
Heroes Of The Past
To many Australians, our national day is not the anniversary of the arrival of the British first fleet in 1788, nor the federation of the colonies in 1901, but ANZAC day – the 25th of April, which commemorated the landing in 1915 of Australian and New Zealand troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula during World War One . This “National Day”, which all Australians share reminisces, a bitter, bloody defeat suffered by Australian and Ne...