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The concept of Australian-ness had began its construction from before the English even reached Australia Then as now Australia was seen as the land of opportunity A new land with no history or system Aboriginal society didnt exist to the British waiting to be carved out and shaped by the new arrivals From the beginning of the history of post-colonised Australia the contributions and experiences of women non-Anglo migrants and Aborigines were virtually ignored Their stories certainly played no role in the forging of the Australian identity What are the images and constructions of Australian-ness Although the Australian identity has transformed over time in essence our national identity remains the same today as it was form the beginning of its development masculine White Anglo-Irish and heterosexual Schaffer 1988 p12 According to the myth the Typical Australian is a practical man rough and ready in his manners and quick to decry and appearance of affectation in others He is a great improviser ever willing to have a go at anything but willing too to be content with a task done in a way that is near enough Though capable of great exertion in an emergency he normally feels no impulse to work hard without good cause He is a hard case sceptical about the values of religion and of intellectual and cultural pursuits generally He believes that Jack is not only as good as his master but at least in principle probably a good deal better He is a fiercely independent person who hates officiousness and authorityyet he is very hospitable and above all will stick to his mates through thick and thin He swears hard and consistently gambles heavily and often and drinks deeply on occasion Ward nd p1-2 in Schaffer 1988 p19 The image of Australian-ness began developing from before the landing of the First Fleet The English had a romanticised idea of Australia as somewhere rich warm and bountiful This
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