Syllabus Introduction Part I Living on the Land Part II Australians Part III Australian Culture
Introduction Thinking and Writing about Australia Old Continent, New Nation ‘British Past’, ‘Asian Future’? ‘Lucky Country’ to ‘Banana Republic’ to ‘Clever Country’ ‘Lucky Country’ to ‘Banana Republic’ to ‘Clever Country’ The Search for Australian Identity Conclusion
Old Continent, New Nation Old Continent Geologically old and worn with its unique marsupial animals Oldest continuously surviving member --- Indigenous Australians New Nation In terms of politics immigrants’ seeing to tame it into a republic or rejecting its alien and dangerous difference In terms of most of the population arrived --- Australians are “immigrants all”
British Past, Asian Future British Past European Settlement meant the destruction of Indigenous cultures Australia’s parliamentary system is modeled largely on the British or Westminster model. Australia’s key cultural institutions are originating from British model Asian Future Asian nation figured among the top ten source countries for migrants Australia’s economic focus shifted from Britain and USA to Asia Japanese and mandarin have become popular languages to study in schools and universities
‘ Lucky Country’ to ‘Banana Republic’ to ‘Clever Country’ Because of its climate and abundance of raw materials, Australia was sometimes seen as the ‘lucky country’. (early time) Australia was importing more goods than it was exporting, which led to the claim by then-Treasurer Paul Keating that Australia might become a ‘banana republic’. (around 1970s) Scientific and technical developments can win claim that Australia is a ‘clever country’. (after 1980s)
The Search for an Australian Identity The newness of many Australians, combined with the oldness and strangeness of the continent, has meant that the search for Australia’s national identity is an ongoing concern among many commentators in the media. From about the 1890s until World War II, the rural or ‘bush’ worker formed a significant element in the identity of many white Australians. Today Australians are also linking their identity to social and cultural achievements --- for example, the women’s movement and multiculturalism. For the majority of Australians, the ties to Britain no longer play a significant role in their national identity.
Conclusion If Australia does eventually become a republic which celebrates its multicultural present and diverse future rather than its British past based on disposition of Aboriginal people, it might become the first ‘postmodern’ nation, the first nation founded not on the sameness of ethnicity, culture and language within its borders, not on an imaged unity, but on a celebration of diversity. But to those who are outside the British-descended majority, Australia still looks very British. How will it look to you ?