Articles on Australian identity

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Kamsani Bin Salleh and Matthew McVeigh, Foodland, 2018, found metal sign and acrylic, 125 x 400 cm. Janet Holmes à Court Collection

Rethinking what it means to be Australian through art

This Perth exhibition is a raucous, overwhelming, exciting and at times confusing immersion into ideas about national identity.
Peter Coleman-Wright and Merlyn Quaife during a dress rehearsal of Bliss in 2010: it is one of few important local operas over the past three decades to have been staged a second time. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

Australian operas have been written about many pressing topics - from the Stolen Generations to the Lindy Chamberlain case - but few have been staged a second time. What is going wrong?
Dorothea MacKellar’s My Country, with its paen to a sunburnt landscape, excoriated Australians for their nostalgic love of English ‘grey-blue’ countryside and English weather. Mark Wassell/flickr

Anthems, ‘ranthems’, and otherwise loves: nationalism in Australian poetry

There's a fine tradition of Australian poetry harnessing the corrective power of insult. In doing so, it prompts us to face hard questions about our history and identity.
The ‘White Australia’ ideology was commercialised and used to sell things from soaps and games to pineapple slices. Multicultural Research Library

Australian politics explainer: the White Australia policy

While contemporary Australia is proud of its multicultural status, the White Australia policy shows this wasn't always the case.
Is Nick Kyrgios too difficult – and different – to become an Australian hero? AAP Image/Joe Castro

‘Australian’ enough to be a hero?

Examining our sporting heroes reveals much about ideas of national identity and who is accepted.
Hip-hop artist 360 caused a stir this week with his comments on the Southern Cross. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Take back the stars and wear the Southern Cross with pride

Australian hip-hop artist and rapper 360 (Matt Colwell) caused an uproar earlier in the week when he said on Q&A that he identified the Australian flag and the Southern Cross with racism. 360 announced…
A real national conversation about democratic values will be inclusive and challenging – not fear-mongering. Is Azfar Ahmad/Flickr

How do we teach what it means to be Australian?

Events in the Middle East that have both shocked and horrified us seem to have opened the doors to anyone who wants to criticise Islam, raise concerns about multiculturalism and romanticise an age when…

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