What It Means To Be an Australian
Australia is a very unique place, along with our multiculturalism there is also a strong heritage surrounding us. At first thought of Australian heritage we think about such landmarks as Uluru, The Sydney harbour bridge and The Sydney opera house, The Great Barrier reef and other internationally recognised places. But our heritage goes much deeper than that; it is far more than outstanding icons. Along with these icons there are also unsung places like the old cattle stations, Aboriginal missions, migrant hostels, War memorials, our unique wetlands and the towns and cities we have built. Adding all of these things together, helps to tell the story of who we are and how we have shaped this land in the unique identity it has today.
But familiar landmarks and also the unfamiliar ones aren’t the whole make-up of Australia’s heritage. It’s the people that make a difference. Australia is made up of people from all walks of life who have migrated here for different reasons. Among these, the most common migrants are from Greece, Italy, Russia and Asia. Australia is made up of material culture: the places and objects, but also Living culture: In forms such as Music, Crafts, Literature etc. It is an interplay between international cultures and beliefs, the claims of nationalism and ethnic and religious traditions, as well as the local and community priorities thats make up the unique Australian heritage.
The Aboriginal people of Australia were here thousands of years before European settlement and we forced them to adapt to the changes of environment around them. This change might be for better or worse, but we will never find out. But with the European settlement came the birth of industry, agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacture, electricity, gas and water just to name a few. Although the Aborigines had survived for thousands of years without these things, it’s hard to say that they would survive today without them. Although we have changed their way of living, we accept and respect the fact that they were here first and we also respect their own cultures and beliefs.