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WHY? The History Behind the Images
But What's the Answer? Is It All Lies? Truth?
The Lonely Australian Dream - A Sample Speech
Australian Image - What's All That About?

How has Music Helped to Build the Australian Image?


Waltzing Matilda

This is a song about a sheep stealer, and yet it more loved than the positive, uplifting Advance Australia Fair. It strikes a chord not because we all want to steal sheep, but precisely because it shows Australia's image of being rebellious. It also features an escape into the natural landscape of Australia an important theme in the Australian image.

Australian Country Music

It is this field that we see the Australian image most commonly built. Slim Dusty, built up "mateship" with "I love to have a beer with Duncan"; John Williamson does it with his song "True Blue". They both also sing about the beauty of the bush in their songs, as well as sing with a distinct Australian accent.

The swagman waiting for that billy.

Australian Rock and Pop Music

Due to its origins in the cities, Australian Rock and Pop isnt as distinctly "Australian" as country or classical music. However, people like Iva Davies and bands like Midnight Oil have sung songs that show Australia's beauty, and in the case of the Oils, the problems facing us politically and socially ie. rebellion.

Classical Music

Nature is also an inspiring core for Australian classical music. Peter Sculthorpe is Australia's best known composer overseas precisely because he writes music that attempts to capture the uniqueness of Australian nature, as well as use the rhythms present in the indigenous music of Australia and Indonesia. This is present in "Kakadu", "Port Essington", "Sun Music" and the majority of his music. This influence has spread through the work of many composers.

Peter Sculthorpe on the right.

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