Australian society as evolved in a very short space of time from the earliest convict settlements established in the mid technetium, to the cosmopolitan states that currently exist and attract Immigrants from all continents across the globe. Australia’s history has reflected conflict, human rights violations, economic growth and the hardship associated with establishing a refined society in a harsh and primitive landscape. Throughout the various stages of Australian history, Australians have attempted to grab onto an identity that makes them unique and able to bond with another fellow Australian.
This has not always been easy, given the diversity that has grown over the centuries – the definition of the true Australian identity has changed over time. Australian national identity was built upon hard masculine foundations, using the harsh nature of the bush to exemplify their character traits. For many, the ANZA troops were the crystallization of this new Identity, celebrated by Russell Ward In ‘The Australian Legend’, a text examining predominantly masculine development of the Australian character’.
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Even by the sass, Ward still regarded Australian identity as anti intellectual and antiquarianism mirroring the sass conception of the ‘coming man’ At this point In Australian history it was assumed that Australian Identity was set In stone and carved from the traditional values of the shrewd rangy Australian bloke’ or, as they were known, ‘larrikin’. Even today Australian identity is a many- splintered thing with university courses exploring national identity, searching for answers to the elusive question, Who are we?
However, due the rest of the world, Australia Is still viewed through a Steve Rills/Crocodile Dundee lens because the international media held them up as Australian cultural icons and a symbol of all things Australian. This is so far from the truth of the matter. With cultural diversity and levels of education and literacy at an all time high, Australia has become a cosmopolitan and highly literate society with Melbourne now named the second city of literature after Edinburgh. However, that said, national identity has been transformed from a recognized and acknowledged social paradigm into an intangible web of possibilities and maybes’.
Over the years, Australians have created a unique Image that Is recognized worldwide and suits our harsh and rugged landscape, Bust, is this image an accurate representation of what it means to be Australian? Some might argue that our international image showcases the true Australian character while other say that our image displays a stereotype that is not accurate and shows Australians as barbaric and uncivilized. Over the years, our national Identity has been slowly developed to suit our changing and unpredictable environment.
If you look closely at many of the Australian movies they showcase one stereotype of the 1 OFF (Directed by Peter Farman, 1986). In this box office sensation, the main character, Mice Dundee (Paul Hogan) was the purest form of the outback stereotype, full of slang, idioms and arrogance. He had a wild sense of humor and had the attitude of a hardworking person, who was never afraid to get his hands dirty. The Outback Susie has become the national identity of Australia and is quite a popular image among foreigners.
Tourism Australia has worked with M Chitchats to create an ‘in your face’ challenge to come and experience the unique environment only available down under. The campaign focuses on the question, “Where the Bloody Hell Are You? Using an Australian phrase in the hope that the laid back cheeky approach will attract foreigners. A punter in a remote outback pub stands at the bar and says, “We’ve bought you a beer” and turns to face the smiling female bartender. A camel train is silhouetted by the Australian sunset. A woman says, “And we’ve had the camels shampooed”.
We’re listening to distinctly Australian sounds, traditional Aboriginal percussion and didgeridoo. The camels walk down the beach, sun setting over the sea in the background. Must be Western Australia. Bare legs swish through the surf at Finial Spit. A woman in bikini top tells us, “We’ve saved you a spot on the beach”. A boy with white zinc sunscreen on his face dives into the pool and emerges to say, “And we’ve got the sharks out of the pool”. Surf surges up the edges of the seaside pool, saturating the swimmers. Kangaroos watch as sand flares up from the golf course bunker. A golfer says, “We’ve got the Ross off the green”.
The kangaroos hop off. The camera zooms up to the front steps of a homestead. A Carjacker tells us, “And Bill’s on his way down to open the front gate”. Bill of course is driving a Ate down a long red dust road. A yellow sea plane lands in the Great Barrier Reef. A snorkeled swims towards the plane as the pilot sits on the float to tell us, inform taxi’s waiting”. It’s now nighttime in front of Lure (Areas Rock). A waiter, dressed in black and white formal gear, tells us, “And dinner’s about to be served”. In Sydney Harbor a woman stands with her friends in front of dazzling fireworks display. We turned on the lights”, she says. Inland an Aboriginal dance troupe goes through its moves. A young woman, who doesn’t look particularly Aboriginal, says, “And we’ve been rehearsing for over 40,000 years”. It’s back to the Lard Binge, the beach babe. “So where the bloody hell are you? “, she wants to know. Tourism Australia provides their thinking behind the campaign on their marketing page. They say that the actors featured in the ads are all amateurs. The campaign attempts to harness the value of Australian environmental icons by displaying them as compelling experiences.
The phrase “Where the bloody hell are you? ” is a classic piece of Australian slang. It communicates something of the larrikin nature of Australian culture and cheekily challenges viewers to do something about their attraction to the down under estimation. It is said that the advertisement with its catch phrase shows a lighthearted play on stereotypical characteristics of Australia such as informality, casualness and friendliness. One aspect of Australian Identity that is continually misrepresented to the rest of the world is the stereotypical image of the tanned, blonde, athletic, easy going, slow talking Susie.
It is true that our climate and geography enable Australians to spend leisure time at the beach or outdoors. It is also true that Australians tend to love sport. However, this Anglo Saxon image is far ND a lifestyle that includes an abundance of food, many Australians are actually overweight and the bronzed god image simply does not fit most people. The demographics of Australian society in general have also changed over time, as migrants from Europe, Asia and the Middle East have moved the balance from a previously British dominated population.
The face of your average Australian could be Asian or European or Anglo-Saxon but would most likely be a mix of a couple of cultures. Therefore, the aspect of appearance cannot be considered when looking for true Australian Identity. It may not be the original inhabitants of Australia, the dark skinned aboriginals, nor is it the stereotypical suntanned blonde or even a pale- skinned European – the true Australian Identity cannot be based on appearance and an image, as to be a true Australian, you could be a multicultural mix of many.
The image of Australia as a multicultural melting pot is not reflected in its television advertising, with exclusive new research revealing the commercials we see are overwhelmingly dominated by white people. A study of all TV ads shown on the commercial channels and on CBS between May and September conducted for Media mound Caucasian-looking people appeared in the majority, while the representation of Asian, African, Indian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander and Aboriginal people was scant.
Ad monitoring firm Ubiquity tracked 4459 separate ads broadcast on the main metropolitan free-to-air channels in the period, which promoted 902 brands in 318 product categories. Caucasian-looking people appeared in about 76% of the ads. The next biggest group, people of Asian decent, appeared in 9%. Five per cent of the ads featured people of African descent, 3% people of Indian appearance, with Middle Eastern, Latino and Pacific Islander people each appearing in about 2% of the ads.
Unless they were sport stars, Aborigines were rarely seen, featuring in about 1% of the ads over the four months. When non-whites did appear, it was often for a specific reason. For example, the brand that used Latino actors the most was Mission Foods, which sells Latin foods such as quadrilles. Most of the ads featuring Aborigines were for Coles supermarkets, starring Olympic sprinter Cathy Freeman, and for the FALL and NOR, featuring top indigenous players. People of Asian decent appeared most often in Medicine ads and Indian-looking people in government elf and social services spots.