Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Films
Music
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?

Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars... Warning!!! Australian Stereotypes to the Right and Left!  This site attempts to explain the old, traditional "Australian Image", not attempt to actually search for a "true" or accurate Australian Image.

Introduction

Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars

I'll put another shrimp on the Barbie

That's not a knife, This is a Knife!

Once a jolly swagman, camped by his billabong...

Here are four phrases that have come to symbolise what Australia "is". Two are part of an advertising promotion, one is in a film, and the other is a poem written by a city journalist about the bush. It's the origins of the messages that explain why they embody the spirit of the "Australian Image".

Advertising

Selling Us an Aussie Image

Whenever a nation is said to "be" something, it's the corporate worlds tool (the media) that often tell us what that nation is, in order to sell stuff. This is especially the case in multicultural nations like Australia. So, part US owned Holden tell us its football, meat pies, kangaroos and their cars that are cornerstones of Australianness. Kraft, the brand owned by Philip Morris, tells us that our children are all happy little Vegemites, growing strong on a product only Australians eat. Sanitarium, the Australian owned branch of the Seventh Day Adventist church tell us that Aussie kids are Weet Bix kids, and are strong and active because of that product. Except for the kangaroo, all of these icons and products are imported in either design or concept.

ute-150.jpg
Aussie Image Building : Putting a Holden Ute outside a Bush Store

Selling an Aussie Image Overseas

In a different use of advertising, Paul Hogan told Americans in an Australian Tourist Commission campaign that Australians were all laid back, all willing to sit back and place prawns on a BBQ. This highlighted our proximity to nature, as well as a relaxed attitude to life. This shows a link to the Holden ads. Football and meat pies are usually enjoyed in leisure time, and the kangaroos are the nature reference. It is little wonder that "Kangaroo Jack", with all its Australian stereotypes, was so popular in America. We've done our sell well.

kangaroojackposter.jpg
Cliches and all : American Cynicism meets Old Australian Image

vegemite.jpg
Putting Roses on Aussie Cheeks

The Ultimate Sell - The Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony tied up each stereotype well. Nikki Webster was a symbol of the innocent European "Australia", looking at this land in awe. The ceremony started with a reference to the bush, with the horses and Man from Snowy River pageant. It soon went through what is making Australia "unique" the Aboriginal culture, Victa lawnmowers, a mix of different cultures, sheep, galvanised iron roofs, flannelette shirts.

nikki2.jpg
White and Black Are Together

Anglo Saxons and Kangaroos

An irony of the link between Australia and Kangaroos is that people of non Anglo Saxon background (usually related to the Southern Europeans who migrated after World War II) call Anglo-Saxons "skippies", because the "Australian culture" created by Anglo-Saxons was strongly reinforced by the TV show Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. They were Anglo-Saxon Australians living in the dangerous bush, depending on a kangaroo to save them.

skippy.jpg
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Sonny

Go Home

Return to Oral Presentation