Hurdle Task 2 - The True Australian Identity
Australia is a country that has been described as diverse, multicultural and unique. Our geography, flora and fauna and cultural history are different to anywhere else, which has definitely captured the attention of the rest of the world. Australian society has evolved in a very short space of time from the earliest convict settlements established in the mid 19thcentury, 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.
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 Aussie. 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 from what the average Australian looks like today. Due to the technological revolution and 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 true Australian identity is linked to opportunity and the hope of a better life. It would be too simplistic to claim that the true Australian identity could be defined effectively by examining the indigenous communities that existed prior to the British colonization of Australia. It would also be unrealistic to just focus on the British colonies that developed from convict settlements to towns that attracted free settlers seeking a better life from what Britain and Europe actually offered. Perhaps the only idea that we can retain from these early times is the concept of...