Australian National Identity Analysis

1079 Words 4 Pages
Across the twentieth century historians have interpreted Australian national identity in a variety of ways, often promoting their own specific views. Here, I shall delineate and give a brief overview of how Australian national identity has been interpreted by some historians. Over the twentieth century, Australian national identity can, in general, be separated into three time periods. Firstly, during the pre-second world war period, national identity was overwhelmingly based on being British. Secondly, after this time, there emerged the idea of an Australian identity based on 'bush folklore ' as championed by the likes of Ward. However, many have criticised the ideas of such an identity as myth, arguing that the promoters of this view were …show more content…
The culture of the country was considered British, and the nation was predominantly populated by Anglo-Saxons. Australians took great pride in their British heritage. The majority of Australians considered themselves as British subjects who shared a common language and tradition. Australia was thought of as an outpost of Britain, and Britain remained their homeland. Australians identified as part of a British family which was spread throughout the countries of the British empire (WIMBORNE 2). That Australians identified as British can be seen in their loyalty to the mother country where Australia joined Britain in both world wars (WIMBORNE …show more content…
This saw the notion of multiculturalism take root in Australia, and with governments of this time adopting multicultural political policies, migrants were now being seen as key parts of Australian society, as much Australian as anyone else (FOSTER 3). According to Gelber, this led to the the interpretation of Britishness as the national identity being all but superseded by the multiculturalism (GELBER 90). This has led some historians to suggest that in adopting a multicultural identity, Australia is neglecting its British heritage (WIMBORNE 4), which in turn is leaving Australia with as a “patchwork” nation with a fractured and fragmented identity (GELBER

Related Documents