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National Identity

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jack O'Brien

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of National Identity

National Identity 1877: Australia Beats England in the first international test match Ned Kelly Convict Heritage The Bush Equality within the country When Australia first beat England in an international test match in 1877 it declared the country as not just a group of British Colonies but a real country on the international stage. The game brought the people of Australia together and allowed them to combine despite their state of Origin and for the first time the people of Australia thought of themselves as one nation. The game also allowed people to realize the sporting potential of the country as well as create its identity as a sporting nation. The game also allowed people to separate from England and be proud of it, to think of themselves as a new country, a country that on weekends lays back and drinks while they win the cricket. This helped create our national identity and goes part of the way to define who we are as Australians. Ned Kelly is a defining person in the Cultural Identity of Australia as he showed all the attributes that would be considered Australian and I think he would be identified as The Australian Man. Ned was a hard working bush worker and would drink often. He formed great mates with 3 men; he died to save his mates by returning to the battle. He was defiant and stood for what he believed in and protected his ‘people’ by tearing bank credits. The people in the area thought of him as a hero and as with all heroes they all wanted to be more like him to share those same attributes. As his fame spread across the country more and more people wanted to become more like him and admired him. He became The Australian, the person that a stereotypical view of Australians is based on and he greatly impacted our national identity. Australians are strongly identified as people who don’t follow orders directly and are always humorous. These characteristics are derived from the convict heritage. Always being funny is a requirement when you are being taken aboard a boat for 6 months with little space and people dying every day this gave many of the Australian ancestors the ability to see the light no matter how dark the world around you is. This continued as a trait for Australians as shown by records of WW1 and 2 with Australians laughing about people having cold feet and imagining ridicules situations minutes before battle. Being convicts they had all been on the wrong side of the law and because of this had very little respect of people who only gave orders. They had to respect the person before they would pay any attention to them. This idea of not being obedient was passed down through families and now is considered to be part of the Australian identity. Australia’s identity has been largely affected by its convict heritage. The Bush is a place that is the home and fame of Australia. Australians are internationally believed to live in the bush. This is because of several advert campaigns in England advertising Australia to the public. Movies such as Crocodile Dundee, although not made at the time, reflect the feelings of the world about the life of Australians. The Bush caused the feeling of mate-ship throughout the country. It forced people to get to know each other and rely on them because the likely hood is that you will someday need them to save your life. The bush created Australia’s identity because it gave the world the picture like the one to the right. Men who have spent the day in the bush, covered in flies and in boiling temperatures, not good-looking and beer gutted but always having a good time and making ‘Mates’ with everyone they meet. Many people settling in Australia had either poor or low status in the UK. This is why they took the opportunity to move to Australia and to ‘start again’. This meant that Australians mostly disliked the Hierarchical system as they had been on the receiving end of how unfair it could be. This meant that they wanted to make their own way in life and not allow it to be completely up to the parents they were born with. With acts like the Eureka Stockade it was obvious that Australians wanted equality. Sporting events brought people closer and the poor would often sit with the richer. People also shared the clearing of ground. Very few people could afford, after the expensive trip to Australia, people to clear lots of land for them. So people that would rarely do manual labor would have to join everyone else thus creating more of a sense of equality with the people. Due to this Australia became the first country to allow all men to vote and the first country to let all women vote. There were many people, moments and feelings that identify Australia and Australians, an identity that I don’t think has changed a great deal over the past 102 years I think that we as a nation have changed but our ideals have not and neither has our identity. Identity is “the set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group” or the trait that the world stereotypically believes to be the average person of a group in this case a country. Stereotypical identities such as the English identity of Aristocrat’s drinking tea around a small table or French identity of people always wearing berets. The Australian identity is like the photo to the left. A Strong, beer drinking, beer belly, casual and farming person. This is how the world sees the Australians and how most Australians would think of as a true Australian. Australians idolize this view of themselves as it represents having fun and being with mates, something all Australians what. What is Our National identity The Beach

Although the farmer is the main identity of Australia a smaller different one also exists. It has never been popular enough to ever be considered the national identity of Australia but it is worth mentioning. It is the young surfer, strong, shaggy beach blond hair, and very tanned. Apart from their very different appearances the characteristics remain the same. Soon Australia will be a young nation (the largest age group in the country with be youths) and then the surfer will become the new national identity but still containing that fundamental characteristics that would be called Australian. The cricket game is connected to equality because Australia, unlike England chose its players based on skill and not status. The bush brought equality to Australians as it forced people to work together and rely on each other bringing them together on an equal level. Ned Kelly fought for the rights of the common man and his actions helped bring equally to the country. With the majority of the country being convicts it allowed people to understand each other better and it also meant that most people did not care what class a person was. Ned Kelly was very connected to the bush as he lived there and was called a bush-ranger. Apart from this he also grew up in the bush and it helped created him into who he ended up being. Despite the influence from many different cultures from around the globe since 1914 the Australian identity continued. We still glorify the working class Australian living in the bush with his mates. All of the influences that I have chosen all connect to equality and that is because a true Australians are mates in which there is no hierarchical system and everyone is equal.
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