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Australian Identity Essay

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Have you ever noticed how instead of saying Shellharbour we say Shell’arbour or goin’ instead of going? G’day how’s it goin? This is an example of one aspect of the Australian identity, as well as a unique dialect Australian’s are also defined by their unique landscape, and the attitudes they display. This Australian identity is evident in Robert Gray’s poem Journey: The North Coast and the well known theme song to “The Adventures of Blinky Bill”.

Robert Gray’s poem Journey: The North Coast details a poet’s journey north as he considers the Australian landscape. The theme song of Blinky Bill introduces Blinky and his friends of Greenpatch and draws attention to the issues of deforestation in Australia. The language, landscape and attitude of the Australian identity are clearly recognisable in these two texts. Both composers use colloquialism and symbolism to represent the Australian language. Through these techniques both composers reveal the uniqueness of the Australian Identity.

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Robert Gray uses symbolism to discuss the past through the terms “bright crockery days”, this is an unusual term to use, yet it represents how Australians use language in a distinctive way. Likewise in the Blinky Bill theme song, colloquialisms are used here which are found nowhere else. “Good on Ya Blinky” is typically Australian slang representing Australian’s laid back attitude. The Australian landscape is as unique as the language we use. In both texts the content revolves around landscapes which are illustrated by the composer’s use of imagery.

Journey: The North Coast by Robert Gray evokes scenes of colourful paddocks and red clay banks “The trains shadows, like birds, flee on the blue and silver paddocks, over fences that look split form stone, and banks of fern, a red clay bank, full of roots”. Through his use of imagery Gray points out the plentiful variety of the Australian landscape, an integral part of the Australian identity. The Adventures of Blinky Bill theme song references an image f the Australian bush “One dark and gloomy night, when all the bush was still”- with the idea of the bush being iconic and exclusive to Australia.

The Australian attitude is represented through the structure and language of both texts. In the Adventures of Blinky Bill theme song Australian slang has been used to name iconic animals, “Wombo” referring to a wombat, “Flap” referring to a platypus and “Blinky Bill” referring to a Koala. By naming these well known animals using Australian slang we see how Australian attitudes are, when making reference to animals giving them human qualities. In Journey: The North Coast, Gray evokes Australian identity through the structure of his poem.

By having no real identifiable structure it allows the poem to feel laid back and relaxed. Through both Robert Gray’s Journey: The North Coast and The Adventures of Blinky Bill theme song we are able to see the attitude, landscape and language create an Australian identity. Australia is a distinctive nation known for its ‘calico beaches’ and ‘blue and silver paddocks’ and slang in which only Australians understand. How many other countries can say that the people of their nation have the ability to wear budgie smugglers in winter?

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