More and more, in recent times, politicians and news articles have caused me to wonder exactly what this means. After all, I’m just me and I just happened to have been born here – it’s not a matter I’ve ever given a lot of thought.
I was brought up in the bush, that’s pretty Australian I suppose. I’ve got a bit of a clue about deadly snakes and spiders, I can climb trees and ride horses and I know one end of a sheep from the other. I’ve mustered cattle, I’ve slashed bracken, and I’ve helped butcher calves. But that only makes me a minority, despite the inherent Australian-ness of those things.
I’ve got a sense of humour which encompasses Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and the Grant/Naylor combo. But even though many Australians share that humour, all of those people are in fact British.
I love my friends and family – but doesn’t everybody?
I appreciate my freedom and my rights... but even those who don’t have those things strive for them, I believe that to be a human trait rather than an Australian one.
I’m a hard-worker, but based on observation I wouldn’t say that’s typically Australian these days.
As for any other “Australian values” – see http://www.convictcreations.com/history/convictleg1.htm – most of these concepts seem to me to be 50 years out of date. Culture, like everything else, changes and evolves. I cannot deny that Australian culture still very strongly reflects our convict heritage, Irish immigrants, and so forth... but these are just layers in a deep and varied history. Every layer, every period of time, will have it’s impact on the country and the culture and I think that trying to adhere to values which were extremely relevant last century is only going to result in stagnation.
We’re a young country, that’s for sure, and we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.