Talk:Culture of Australia

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Hmmm.... Not a bad essay, but as an encyclopedia entry it sucks. So far as the substantive content goes, it sticks pretty closely to matters of verifiable fact, but it doesn't read like an encyclopedia entry. And yet one could simply recite facts for page after page and come nowhere near providing the reader with a useful or sensible picture of something as elusive, as diverse, and as downright contradictory as "Australian Culture". For a topic like this, bold brushstrokes are required.

Perhaps I'll fiddle round the edges of it here and there, and if I let it sit for a while and come back to it I might be able to get it to settle down into a consistent voice, but I doubt that I'll be able to turn it into a proper]] encyclopedia entry anytime soon, not without stripping it of meaning. That, I think, is the key challenge with this topic: to retain both readability and relevance to anything that matters, and yet attain an appropriate tone. Clearly, it has a long way to go yet. Anyway, I'll post this now and see what others can do with it. At this stage I'm half inclined to wonder if it would not be better simply to go back to having no entry at all.

But then, sooner or later, someone would come along with an asinine recitation of the names of famous golfers and the number of seats in the Sydney Opera house, and that would be a tragedy. Tannin 14:49 Dec 17, 2002 (UTC)

Seems like a good start to me :-) Ask the average Brit about Australian culture and they will say "Neighbours". Which may seem a depressing picture of the international impact of Australian culture. But Australian soaps have recently been blamed for the current trend among under-25s whereby the end of sentences is given an upward inflection. And they'd say "Rolf Harris" second. -- Tarquin

This article is a ton of woffle - a rave with few facts or evidence. (Sydneysider)

I've taken out the link to the cronulla race riots, for some reason linked in the "underdog" section. Not sure why it was there. (talk) 05:50, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

This page definitely needs a workover to go from it's plumper essay style to an encyclopedic reference.... No mateship mentioned? and a link to an obscure Jewish social club? I guess I should stop complaining and get on with it MichaelHiggins

This is complete garbage and very insulting. Could you seriously suggest that a society with 200 years of history, a distinctive accent and beliefs is practically cultureless? If we have no culture, why do we relate to eachother more than others, prefer our own television, read our own newspapers, have our own traditions? If we are all just Americans, why do some massive TV shows over there go unnoticed here, while others, such as Seinfeld are hits (probably because of Australia's own humour tradition of making a small thing into something very large.

All the kids wear baseball caps, speak in American accents and haven't heard of blinky bill? Well the baseball cap fashion has come and gone. Blinky Bill is currently a popular kids' cartoon show. As for the accents, does the author mean that kids overall use more american expressions than they used to, or has he never visited Australia?


What has the Australian Union of Jewish Students got to do with anything? Dr Adam Carr 12:56, 20 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Absolutely nothing, so far as I can tell. But no other page links to it and maybe it felt lonely. ;) Tannin

Culture - I dislike the word but lets start with some definitions:

a. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. b. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty. c. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture. d. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization. (

"Culture is to a collective what personality is to the individual" - Geert Hofstede. perhaps that definition might be useful for reframing this very dreary article - perhaps we could all look at the 'personality' of Australia and add some notes that add more colour?

I think people have used all the above inteerpretations in their comments and it makes an interesting read. However much of what is discussed as culture here is of little interest to most Australians. It is simply each readers perception of what he thinks of cultural importance.

An example: Ask someone from Britain and they are likely to comment on the inferiority of culture compared to the traditional or should I say, historical, British culture. This does not mean that Australia has no culture - just the opposite.

Australia's culture is quite simply something different to every Australian. I dont see the word multicultural anywhere in the entry and that is the best description of our culture. Instead of saying we lack culture people would be far more accurate by saying we lack a predominant culture - due to the sheer diversity of contributing cultures.

Australia would have one of the highest percentages of immigration in the world. Every one of these immigrants has added to the culture here. While the traditional British culture was dominant for many years it is far less so today. Most Australians are willing to adopt parts of any culture that they see and appreciate. Food is a typical example.

I could add an entry describing the vast array of cultural options open to me as an Australian. However it would just be the options that I am aware of in my own little cultural pool. It would be vastly different to another Australians that moves in different cultural circles.

If someone talented wanted to describe our culture they would need to talk about an adaptive multicultural society. The lack of a predominant culture through history has enabled Australians to freely choose from a wide range of other peoples cultures to create a unique blend of cultures that vary from place to place and person to person. Tolerance is high on the list of values for most Australians and this is a major factor in the multicultural society that has been formed. Australians by need are probably the most tolerant society.

I like to look on it this way - Australian culture is probably in the direction of where many other countries 'cultures' are headed. I defy any person to travel through the world and not see that every countrys culture is under threat from Globalisation. Australian culture is way ahead along the multicultural path due to its lack of a highly dominant racial group. Every other country will head this way sooner or later.

Someone go write a paragraph on multiculturalism. Or maybe I will get around to becoming a user

- Just another Australian of European Descent.

Actually, I think all the "culture of" articles are crap, especially this one. (And I shold know - I wrote most of it.) The thing about culture is that it is so varied (as you say above) and so fluid, and above all so subjective, that no-one can ever write about it in a NPOV manner. Or so I believe. Tannin 14:39, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

lol this really needs more citations, sorry but some articles (stories and legends) read just like oppinion. (maybe its the cultural cringe talking lolz) but please try to lean less heavily on stereotypes by using more supportive quotes and supplying informtion thats better cited and therefore more nuetral and verifiable.

I think a section on the role of drinking in Australian culture should be added too. I found this great link on pikers On the one hand we are internationally famous for wine and our wine growing regions, and many take the mediterranean approach of a glass of wine with a meal, but on the other hand there is strong peer pressure on people to drink lots of alcohol, basically to get drunk, on a regular basis. Its especially true for young people and men. I think getting drunk together functions as a way of bonding with your mates,and a way to loosen up everyone's inhibitions over the weekend or in the evening, and its common to relate stories of stupid things you did whilst you were wasted with a sense of pride. Exceptions to the drinking culture do exist however, for example it is acceptable not to drink if you have to drive home, a result of the extensive "Bloody Idiot Don't Drink and Drive" campaigns in the 90s and 2000s, and its also okay not to drink if you are a Muslim, are pregnant. (talk) 15:43, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Anonymous Australian

no mention of AFL[edit]

No AFL, no pies, no beating the crap outta the Brits in cricket? Is this Australia we're talking about? ;)

So whack it in, dopey! - Ta bu shi da yu
"no beating the crap outta the Brits in cricket"
Kicked your arse :p 15:58, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, AFL/Aussie rules definitely needs its own subheading in the sports section. At the moment AFL is mentioned in the rugby section like that's what it plays (this also should be corrected). I might do it at some point but if anyone else wants to, go for it Thewebb (talk) 07:08, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I would add that no mention of surfing and its culture, greatly hinders this representation of Australia! (Kabrown12 (talk) 17:22, 1 February 2013 (UTC))

Did you even bother to read the Sports section before making this comment? Or was your glance so cursory that you missed it ? Mdw0 (talk) 13:02, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Midnight Oil[edit]

No mention of The Oilz in the music section? They are one of the most influential acts in Aussie rock history, and "Beds are Burning" is arguably one of the greatest Aussie rock anthems of all time. I would write it myself but I don't think I could do them justice. --Jasper99 02:42, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I couldn't disagree more, Midnight Oil sucked, there are many more artists that represent Australian culture, than the ill conceived political rants of Oil.. alright to listen to but not Australian Culture.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

culture cringe section moved here[edit]

moved this section from the article, it needs a major npov-ing and a rewrite for encyclopedic tone, it currently reads like personal observations or an essay (like much of this "schools of thought" section) and should be merged into the more general earlier discussion: clarkk 15:48, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Cultural Cringe
Many foreigners, as well as many Australians, make fun of Australian Culture, and joke that the term itself is an oxymoron. This is not helped by the huge success of TV shows such as Neighbours and The Crocodile Hunter, which are more popular in the US and the UK than they are at home. Many Australians suffer from a cultural inferiority complex, and whenever a celebrity makes it big overseas, like Nicole Kidman or Mel Gibson, the Australian media make a big fuss over how they have achieved international fame and celebrity, as if that somehow validates Australian culture in general. It is almost as if many Australians fantasise that an American or Brit will see a Nicole Kidman movie and think to themselves "Gee that Nicole's a pretty good actress, maybe Australia's not such a cultural wasteland after all."
first cut at rewrite clarkk 16:19, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Some commentators have noted the presence of a so-called "cultural cringe" in which some Australians have become reflexively ashamed of some of their cultural exports, and question the existence of the notion of an Australian "culture". These commentators point to the success of television programs such as Neighbours and The Crocodile Hunter, which have often become more popular outside Australia than locally, as evidence of this trend. Others point out that although Australia has several high profile exports such as Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson, that Australian artists have become influential globally in the arts, music and entertainment, albeit in less financially lucrative or mainstream areas. Examples of these cited include The Necks in jazz, electronic music pioneers, Severed Heads amongst others. It is often the case that less mainstream artists have had to market and/or relocate overseas to gain traction, however, this may be due to the nature of the smaller Australian market than lesser intrinsic support for cultural endeavours.

Yes I agree it needs a re-write and think your version is a good start. However I have never heard of either The Necks or Severed Heads so I'm not sure if these are good examples of influential Australian musicians. Also the "cultural cringe" is not just about Australians being "ashamed" of some of our cultural exports although that is definitely part of it. It is more about Australians wanting to be seen as sophisticated and respected by other nations, especially Europeans and Americans. When someone like Steve Irwin becomes successful we "cringe" at this broad Ocker stereotype (even though Irwin is only being himself!). We prefer to have someone like Nicole Kidman or Geoffrey Rush as our cultural ambassadors, because they are sophisticated and classy (the opposite of Irwin). This is particularly evident in the way in which the Australian media reports events like the Olympics and the Oscars, where the only focus seems to be whether the Aussies are winning. Unfortunately being new at this I don't know how to say this in a NPOV and encyclopaedic tone. --Jasper 22:56, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Although the effect of the arrival of Europeans on Aboriginal culture was profound and catastrophic, the reverse is not the case: broadly speaking, mainstream Australian culture has been imported from Europe, the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in particular, and has developed since that time.

Wouldn't most of the Irish influence be in colonial times, rather than since 1949 (when the Republic of Ireland was created)? Would a link to Ireland be better? Andjam 09:55, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Since fixed, it seems. Andjam 09:55, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


While I agree that mention of the ABC has a lot to do with Australian culture, I don't think you are proving your point here.

"Debate about the role of the ABC continues, as many assign it a marginal role, and claim that American-influenced commercial TV and radio stations are far more popular choices. These critics claim that Australian children grow up watching Sesame Street and The Simpsons, eating fries at McDonald's, wearing baseball caps, speaking American slang, and some have never heard of Blinky Bill or the Magic Pudding. Television ratings are cited as backing this view, but it is less clear that these ratings tell the whole view."

I believe that Sesame Street is shown on the ABC. I know that you are trying to make a point about the Americanisation of Australian culture but don't you think that this belongs in it's own paragraph rather that in a paragraph devoted to the ABC?


I have removed several uncited claims from this section, and reworded it to sound more formal and accurate. For example Australians do not play many winter sports.

  • "...where the highest standard rugby league competition in the world is found".
  • "The significance with which many Australians treat this sport can be seen in the oft-repeated claim that the most important job in the nation is captain of the Australian cricket team."

Other sentences that could do with references include the one about field hockey and the bit about women's sport. Also a cite for cricket being the premier summer sport (not tennis or golf?). I didn't remove these as there'd be too little left. --Scott Davis Talk 13:11, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Tom Davis[edit]

Is this singer from Australia? --Preacher, or Princelet 16:56, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


The section entitled 'Australian culture: schools of thought' should, IMO, be rewritten in NPOV. An example:

"Others seize eagerly on each small point of difference, and brandish relatively small parts of the Australian cultural experience (such as the poetry of Henry Lawson, Australian Rules football, or the pie floater) as if these were sufficient to demonstrate that a new and vital culture has emerged in the two centuries since European settlement.

Somewhere in between these two views may be found the great central thread of debate about Australian culture: the perennial attempt to ask and answer the question, "Does Australia 'have' a culture, and if so what is it?" The obsessive preoccupation with this question has lasted decades, and shows no sign of fading."

In the first paragraph, the author's point may be that Australians should embrace their culture as something being greater than the sum of its parts, instead of focusing on narrower areas. However, this isn't really clear, and it just sounds slightly bitter and cynical. I think someone oughta do something about this. riana 08:35, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Split "Arts in Australia" off[edit]

Culture is not synomymous with Art, I have split off the arts part of the article. What should remain here would be more about Australian culture (or ethos), with a summary of the arts text. Paul foord 09:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Something not quite right.[edit]

I was searching for an article which gave a good overall impression of Australian culture, and while this article is comprehensive, I still can't help but find it full of opinion rather than established trend (this is probably always going to be a problem with subjective topics like this). One thing did stand out..

Australian's are extremely critical of their political leaders and high-flyers, while being always sympathetic to those who are being done wrong and in strife. This is especially evident in Today Tonight and A Current Affair

Both these programs will broadcast whatever necessary to get eyeballs and sell advertising. I recall ACA being especially brutal on the Paxtons and Dole Bludgers in general.

Hey, did I just prove this article right about tall poppies?

Christiancatchpole 05:40, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I think the tall poppy syndrome should be included as a separate section or at least emphasised more greatly as this is an attitude which really differentiates us from other countries. You could add something like this: "Tall poppy syndrome has been linked to the "brain drain" of young, high potential Australians overseas, eg to London, Wall Street on Asian financial markets, and can explain the indifferent attitudes displayed towards returning expatriates. Tall poppy syndrome is not universal however. Instead it is linked with Australian mateship culture and anti-intellectual sentiment, so that Australians who become successful in sports (Lleyton Hewitt, Don Bradman), business (?egs anyone) or popular culture (Steve Irwin)are hailed as heroes, whilst those achieving comparable success in intellecutal, high cultural or scientific fields receive less attention and are encouraged to remain humble. (talk) 14:04, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Anonymous Australian

I don't see anything in the article about gender roles or religion in Australia, but I think these form quite important aspects of culture. Perhaps a brief section at the beginning could give the census stats for Australians' religious beliefs and explain the system of religious schools, separation of church and state etc. As for gender roles something similar maybe start off with the early roles of convict women and go on to explain womens role in Australia, equality between men and women etc. Finally attitudes to homosexuals and the gay and lesbian culture eg with Mardi Gras, Dame Edna and Priscilla Queen of the Desert could be mentioned. (talk) 14:05, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Anonymous Australian


The introduction to this article is far, far too long. Should sentences be simply removed or..? - Stonemaccas 18 September

Egyptian discovery?[edit]

"Ever since Egyptian hieroglyphics were discovered in an Australian cave,it's rumored that Egypt was the first to discover Australia."

This is just stupid. Please provide a source or it will be deleted. 18:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)BenS


In relation to:

The two national, non-commercial networks (ABC and SBS) have been steadily increasing their share of the market ratings in the past 2 decades, but still only account for 16.9% and 4.6% respectively of the national ratings percentages (figures for 2004)[5].

I am not sure of strict definitions, but is SBS still a non-commercial network, given it now has commercials?

Cheers, Simon.

SBS has had commercials for a long time, but they used to be between programs rather than inserted as breaks in them. Given that SBS is referred to in a preceding paragraph as "publicly funded", which is more accurate, I'll have a shot at rewriting that sentence a bit. Confusing Manifestation 02:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Fixed, although I note that the reference given, from the Australian Film Commission, does refer to SBS as "non-commercial", presumably because its funding is still mostly from the Government, subsidised by the commercials. Confusing Manifestation 02:22, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


Can someone rewrite the introduction section of the article? It contains too many paragraphs of multiple sentences. Elenseel 07:15, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Mediation Closed[edit]

After trying at this for over a month, I am of the opinion that we have exhausted all possible options. Every conceivable wording has been put forward, and still there is dissent over which version should be used on the various pages. Therefore, I am declaring this mediation at an impasse and have closed it. Parties should continue to discuss it and may seek out other forms of dispute resolution. I would advise all parties involved to remain civil and to follow proper policies in handling the matter further. Thank you. MBisanz talk 05:38, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

"World's finest wines"[edit]

Under the "Beverages" section the article says "Australia produces some of the world's finest wines", without any citation. This seems to be someone's opinion, rater than factual information, and unless anyone has a source (Perhaps a blind taste test by a reliable group?) I will just delete it. Ark'ay the Mortals' God (talk) 00:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, it's been a day, I have deleted it. Ark'ay the Mortals' God (talk) 20:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Margot Fonteyn??[edit]

... a rich tradition in ballet, enlivened by the legacy of Dame Margot Fonteyn and Sir Robert Helpmann, and continuing with Graeme Murphy.

What's this about? Sure, she visited here many times, as did others from overseas, but to the casual reader it reads as if she was an Australian. What about Edouard Borovansky (who was from o/s but at least settled here), Lucette Aldous, Marilyn Rowe, Kelvin Coe, Garth Welch, etc? -- JackofOz (talk) 06:38, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Comedy, including stand-up and festivals[edit]

Don't our comedy festivals and stand-up circuits represent an important part of our culture? Would there be any way of including them?--Tyranny Sue (talk) 05:58, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Australian humor & identity[edit]

"The arts in Australia — film, music, painting, theatre, dance and crafts — have achieved international recognition."

  • This omits a few important arts, including comedy. I propose broadening the scope by changing "film, music, painting, theatre, dance and crafts" to something more along the lines of "live performance (dance, theatre, comedy, music), recorded performance (film, tv, music), and visual arts and crafts (painting, sculpture, textile arts)". Any improvements or adjustments before I change it?

(From personal experience I can say that humour can be one of the most effective cultural ambassadors/translators, and that in my multi-cultural family, Australian humor, especially Roy & HG, but also Dame Edna and tv shows like 'The Late Show', 'The Comedy Company', explained Australian-ness to us better than anything else. So I strongly feel that this article ignores the importance of Aussie humour to its detriment.)--Tyranny Sue (talk) 00:42, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Laid back[edit]

From my perspective as an Australian, one of the defining characteristics I notice of my culture is the informality. It shows in forms of address (I address my university professors by their first name, and have done so with my teachers since upper high school, for example), forms of dress (casual dress in a work environment), the ease of transition from acquaintance to friend and joking disrespect for authority figures. Perhaps it comes under the tall-poppy section, but it seems something quite significant in Australian culture, and something that visitors are often surprised at. It would be great to find a citation for it, though, like the other parts of the stories and stereotypes section. Unfortunately I don't know any. I do know that it's something that is frequently lampooned in fiction by outsiders (such as Bart vs. Australia in the Simpsons). Steewi (talk) 06:01, 21 April 2009 (UTC) (edited for correct episode title of The Simpsons. Steewi (talk) 06:03, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


Jesus, I'd never realized Australians were so patriotic. I mean, I'm not expecting or asking for this to be balanced and dispassionate, it's just, it seems a bit crazy from where I'm standing. Either Australia is absolutely perfect, or a nice soft filter has been used in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, the 'objectivity' line is being used by some to keep all issues surrounding our identity as a nation + struggles as a nation off limits. They're the only things that make Aussie interesting in my view. Tjpob (talk) 09:43, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Review please[edit]

Removed section on Australian identity due to its bias tone.

"Language" Section[edit]

"It is believed that there were between 200 and 300 Australian Aboriginal languages at the time of first European contact, but only about 70 of these languages have survived and all but 20 of these are now endangered. An indigenous language remains the main language for about 50,000 (0.25%) people. Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 6,500 deaf people. The Aboriginal people have an amazing variety of languages. Even after the loss of possibly hundreds of native languages, there are still around 150 different languages still spoken."

Does anyone else find this phrase odd? Could it be cleaned up somehow?

Also, I'm not entirely sure, but I think the use of the word "Amazing", in that last sentence constitutes POV. (It appears too have been fixed now) Compoundinterestisboring (talk) 13:35, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Info on Cuisine although Nothing on Wine?[edit]

SpringSummerAutumn (talk) 10:09, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Review? unions[edit]

I removed a line, that stated with blatant disregard for the truth that the "lucky country" is no longer refered to as that because unions have less power and globalisation.. there is no evidence falsified or not to suggest anything along those lines. It just pedals a political agenda.. Like Midnight Oil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Danielmyles1 (talkcontribs) 04:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Sports, gambling and horse/greyhound racing[edit]

Culture of Australia#Other sports currently says: Since the 1970s, gambling has become socially acceptable, and many Australians are drawn to horse racing and greyhound racing from a young age. I'm not convinced that greyhound racing is a sport at all (unless you're a dog), and even if we concede that horse racing is a sport (for the jockey), I think this sentence needs rewording and moving because:

  • Gambling is not a sport - the sentence needs rewording to state explicitly that people take an interest in the "sport" of horse/greyhound racing because they can gamble on it. This might be as simple a change as "... gambling has become acceptable, and conseqently many take an interest in sports on which they can gamble, such as horse and greyhound racing".
  • The sentence currently follows, in the same paragraph, "Australians partake in ...". The gamblers do not partake in the racing, they are spectators. While spectatorship is a legitimate (and for most, the primary) part of sport (as per the first sentence of Culture of Australia#Sport), I think gambling/spectating should be a separate paragraph to "partake and excel in".

Mitch Ames (talk) 13:33, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

If you dont like 'partake' then change it, but you've definitely got the wrong definition. Partake is collective participation or enjoyment in something. Spectators most definitely partake in a sport by being consumers of the spectacle. Try Horseracing and dog racing are definitely sports. Havent you noticed the equestrian Olympic events? Havent you ever heard of 'the sport of kings?' or the racing journal 'The Sportsman?' Rewrite the sentences if you dont like them, but dont delete valid points just because the style doesnt soothe. But you're right about it needing a distinct section, under sport, because gambling has been an accepted and distinct part of Australian culture since the beginning of European settlement. Whether gambling in and of itself is a sport or not, it is intimately liked with sport as much as spectating is.Mdw0 (talk) 03:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Focused on "British" sports[edit]

This statement is not true. Australian rules football (the largest spectator sport), Basketball, one of the largest participation sport (THE largest in Victoria), horse racing (another large spectator sport) and even soccer (which did NOT originate in Britain and is therefore NOT a British sport). This leaves Cricket, Rugby League and Rugby Union. 3 sports. So to say "Australia's tradition links with Britain makes them focus primary on British sports" is false and I have removed it. (talk) 20:14, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

It will only take you a small effort to find accurate stats on this stuff.
See this site:
which shows that the top participation sports are walking, running, tennis, soccer, swimming, netball, golf, cycling, bushwalking and aerobics. Basketball doesnt rate at all. The sentence being edited in this article talks about 'focus,' so attendance and spectatorship are important. The order for attendance has Aussie Rules, motorsports, cricket, harness racing, horseracing, netball, rugby league, rugby union, soccer and tennis all before basketball. Six out of ten of those sports have their origins in Britain, hence 'primarily focussed on British sports.' Mdw0 (talk) 04:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
See this site:$File/41740_2005-06.pdf

What. Maybe Netball, cricket and the rubgy code. Soccer as I pointed out is NOT invented by the British. So it is NOT primarly focused on British sports. Keep your monarhist opinions to yourself please. (talk) 10:25, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Allright, I'll bite. First of all, just because someone recognises that sports have their origin in Britain doesnt make them a monarchist, and adding political name-calling makes it look like you cant win an argument on its merits, so how about you just stick to the facts. The origins of tennis are British. Even without soccer that's 5 out of 10 which still justifies 'primarily trained on British sports.' Also golf is British. What possible alternate origin of soccer could you have that isnt British? Surely you're not going to trot out Cuju which died as a sport before 1600 and was primarily a skills-based exhibition by court flunkies, a lot like hacky-sack.
However, the whole point of this bit to to indicate the change away from traditional, British sports to American ones, so how about an opening like 'Australia's cultural and political links with Britain has seen its sporting tradition focus on sports of British origin, but in recent years...' Would that satisfy? Mdw0 (talk) 01:59, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe the traditional links with Britain sentence is necessary. Before we go here again, the largest attendance is for an Australian sport. Lets not forget motorsport. Soccer was invented in ancient China and was codified in Britain. It's popularity is rather recent and has nothing to do with historical links with Britain. Netball started a bit sooner, but I seriously don't think when it became big in the 80-onwards, it was because of "Australia's traditional links with Britain". Soccer was introduced before most other sports, but despite it's popularity and culture in Britain and despite our close ties with Britain, it failed to take off in a large way, until late into the 20th century. Also walking running, cycling, aerobics, horse racing, bushwalking, swimming do not have British origin. It seems these are now considered unimportant because the sentence claims that Australia is primarily focused with British sports. It seems to rubbish the rest of them, as well as the most attended (Australia rules football). In Melbourne basketball is the highest participated sport ( It actually has a larger participation rate than Aussie rules, Cricket, or the rugby codes ( There is no doubting it was one of the biggest sports in the 90's if we talk about participation rates, it was probably the biggest. This had nothing to do with any ties to Britain. I don't think participation rates should be the sole basis on what sports Australia focuses in. The most participation sport is swimming, which existed long before Britain. True there are a fair bit of British sports than other countries. You can't just rubbish all other sports by saying we are primarily focused with British sports. I mean the AFL is the forth largest sporting attendance in the world, and by saying Australia is primarily focused on British sports, well, you're giving out mixed messages and readers may take it the wrong way. All I ask is that we simply remove the Australia's traditional links with Britan make it focused on British sports. The two largest participation sports soccer (arguably not a British sport) and netball are huge, but their popularity really has little to do with "traditional links". That is definently true for cricket, but offhand I am sure that and the rugby codes are the only ones that are popular because of traditional links (I may be wrong). So what I'm suggesting is the removal of the sentence. It doesn't seem necessary and I really can't think why it needs to be there. I don't think you're other compromise is necessary either cause I don't see why the sentence should be there in the first place. I don't think it's removal will affect the page in any large way. It's about Australian culture, not about any links or loyalty to Britain. Sliat 1981 (talk) 10:11, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Team sport. Basketball in 2009 was the most popular team sport in Victoria. That survey has participants in golf walking cycling aerobics etc all higher. And yes, basketball is one of the non-British-origin sports, I've never tried to say otherwise. I just dont agree its the be-all and end-all like you seem to. Motorsport is also one of the non-British origin sports. As is Aussie rules, although the formulation of Aussie Rules football was influenced by Cambridge rules, Sheffield rules and the rugby codes as much as the Marn Grook style games. They go against netball, the rugby codes, golf, cricket, tennis, and soccer. Please dont try to argue that cuju was the origin of soccer because even a vague look at what cuju consisted of and the origins of modern soccer would show they are miles apart.
There is no mixed message. The point of the sentence is to indicate a movement or trend away from traditional sports and towards others, which is valid. Saying the focus is primarily on sports of British origin does not rubbish the other sports, and it doesnt lionise them either. It is a simple fact that Australia's traditional focus, both cultural and sporting is towards Britain and British sports as opposed to sports from anywhere else. Not ONLY British sports, just primarily British sports. Since the line indicates change away from traditional focus to a broader one, and given your favouritism towards non-British origin sports I would've thought you'd support both the sentiment and the statement. I cant believe you're trying to say that Australia's links with Britain dont or havent affected its culture. If anything, its the #1 influence on Australian culture, certainly through the majority of its history. But that is all changing, which the sentence indicates.
I'm not saying that their popularity NOW is all due to fact that they are of British origin, but it is absolutely a factor of them being part of Australia's sporting traditions. So all in all I dont see what you're arguing aganst. Are you seriously arguing that the traditional focus wasnt on British sports? Or that the focus isnt changing? No. So whats the problem? Basically its saying Australia's sporting focus is moving from Britain towards these other American sports. What do you disagree with? Mdw0 (talk) 04:09, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

If you'd listen to sliat, you'd see that she/he stated that even the sports that are of British origin aside of cricket/rugby, none of them have their popularity because of "traditional links". The popularity of soccer is more due to medeterranian immigrants rather than British links. Are you really suggesting that any country soccer is popular it's because of "tradition links with Britain?" I think not. many countries where it is popular have never nor will ever be colonies of England. Netball became popular much later and I really can't see how it became popular because of "traditional links with Britain". We are not saying we are primarily focused with American sports, we are saying the sentence demeans the popularity of all other non-british sports. You're basically saying "Australia is primarily focussed British sports, except of course some of the more popular ones like, horse racing, swimming, motorsport, cycling, bushwalking, areobics, Australia rules football, basketball which have no origin in Britain but are some of the largest participation too". Even the other sports you mentioned, most are not of british origin (nearly all of them. And as mentioned apart from Cricket and the rugby codes (which basketball has a larger participation rate) they are NOT popular because of any "traditional links with Britin". Your sentence has no purpose but to try and put some pro-monarchist opinions. But you won't change it because you really think it's necessary. it isn't. If it is moving away, then simply remove the fact that you say Australians are focused on British sports. They're not (look at the above sports that are not of British origin) and are moving away from them. The sentence should not be there. I can not see any reason for it apart from some pro-british propoganda. Our arguements for are more strongly why it's not needed. it's one sentence, but because of your weak arguement, you're determined it will stay. Why don't you change it to "Australia's ties with Britain saw it originally focus on British sports, but now blahblahblah..." Also for you comments, "our traditional link with Britain make it foucs on Britain. Not all Australias are of British origin or even developed from british cultures. the strong irish culture was also part of the culture. In fact one person who was concidered an Australian hero to MOST Australians, was a model against the British. Ned Kelly. (talk) 09:56, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Even though I'm talking to a sock puppet here. I'll pretend I'm not...
The ones that have/had popularity because of traditonal links are - cricket, rugby codes, netball, tennis, golf, cycling. I include cycling here because Australia's cycling tradition in the early 20th century was due to links with Britain, although its growing popularity now is more due publicity of the big European tours. These, along with Aussie Rules and horseracing form Australia's sporting tradition. That is why the line says Australia's links with Britain meant the focus of Australia's sporting traditon has been on sports of British origin. Now you can say that from that traditional base some have waxed or waned in popularity, due to a host of other influences, but the fact remains that Australia's sporting tradition is what it is because of a focus on sports of British origin, which is due in the most part to Australia's other cultural links with Britain. I would not say that soccer achieved any major popularity in Australia due to its cultural links with Britain, that's an exception, but the British were a major influence in Australian soccer, as players, coaches and administrators.
Its certainly not saying having the British monarch as Australia's Head of state is good or bad. Thats you adding your point of view into it. Its got nothing to do with being pro or anti British, in fact using your methods I could say your opinion should be discounted because its anti-British, which is equally incorrect. Any country with strong cultural links with Britain is bound to have a focus on Britain sports - New Zealand, for example. I dont see how you can say netball got popular in this country without the British link - without it Australian women's soccer and basketball would be even bigger. Now, of course I cant say for absolute certain that these British-origin sports wouldnt have popular even without the British cultural links, but it is a fact that these sports of British origin form the major part of Australia's sporting tradition. It is most certainly a fact that the Irish were and are a major influence on Australian culture, possibly the biggest influence, but Irish sports were not supported by the establishment in this country. I believe the Irish played a major part in the development of Aussie Rules because of a similarity to Gaelic football. You seem to think me saying 'traditional links meant focus on Britain and British sports' is the same as me saying 'all Australians are of British origin' which is obviously not what I was saying.
The line is credible and mentions a change from the traditional sports towards others, similar to the rest of Australian culture in the 20th century. That's why I'm supporting it. If you have an argument that Australia's sporting tradition constitutes something other to what I've explained, please advise. But please understand I'm not trying to say Australia's sporting focus is necessarily on sports of British origin NOW, although it is a pretty major part of it - I'm saying that sports of British origin, because of Australia's cultural links with Britain, forms the major part of Australia's sporting tradition. And that's ALL I'm saying. Mdw0 (talk) 04:17, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Excuse me, I don't appreciate that. If you call me that again, I will report you. I was asked to give my views on here, so I did. I am in favor of changing the sentence to "Australia's ties with Britain saw it originally focus on British sports, but now ..." I still do not think the sentence need to be there, but I'll vote on the change if it makes everyone happy. That's my vote. If it's not focusing on it NOW I think the change should raise no objection. Sliat 1981 (talk) 07:58, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

My apologies. You're right - I shouldn't let my petty suspicions overflow into accusations. Thank you for your support of my reasoning in spite of my initial silliness. Mdw0 (talk) 01:25, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

I still don't think "Australia's ties with Britain saw it originally focus on British sports, but now blahblahblah" is sufficient. I still don't see why the sentence needs to be there. (talk) 20:29, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The line says Australia's sporting tradition is changing and broadening. I don't see why there's such a problem with it. Its not inaccurate and its relevant to the section. Mdw0 (talk) 01:29, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

No. Although I don't think the line needs to be there, I support changing it to "Australia's ties with Britain saw it originally focus on British sports, but now...". You came onto my page and asked me for my opionion and now I'm giving it. I know you don't think it's sufficient, but learn to compromise.Sliat 1981 (talk) 09:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually I didn't make that request. That was some anonymous who assumes that the very mention that many sports are of British origin is some sort of affront to their Australian-ness. Actually I think your preference is less of a compromise and less conciliatory than mine. Mdw0 (talk) 01:23, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I think yours is no compromise. It does not suggest what Australia focuses on now. It sounds more like because of Australia's pathetic loyalty, it's basically only interested in British sports, but if some Australian plays a non-British sport overseas, they might get interested if they feel like it. You seem to have an obsession on putting on here, that only British sports gather interest here and have steadfastly refused to remove the sentence (putting it there has no point other than to promote monarchy). You could just remove it and let the reader themselves decide wheither or not Australia focuses on British sports because of any once loyalty we may of had to britain ong ago. Now you have refused a compromise, which I don't think is fair on my side, because you want your pro-British is best and they are our lords and superiors sentence there. And I may point out, that many Australian traditions originated from an Australian sport (Australian rules football, that originated from a native Australian game Marn Grook, not Gaelic football), eg, running through banners, the word "barracing", meat pies. If we had british traditions, we'd be singing pathetic songs that whole game and using the word cheer on, not barrack. But all these tradtition have been ignored in your sentence, bewcause of your pro-monarchy traditions, our "tradition" is focussing on british sports and their traditions. So basically in your sentence, you're suggesting we have no interest in Australian rules football, bushwalking, swimming, horse racing, because our only interest in on british sports and you won't even slightly moderate the sentence in any way. (talk) 20:57, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I dont think you've got anything right in that last comment. Here is the line you're so convinced is a poltiitcal treatise which supports the English monarch as Head of State of Australia;

'Australia's strong cultural and political links with Britain have resulted in a sporting tradition focussed on sports of British origin, but in recent years there has been a trickle of professionals playing at the top level of American sports.' The sentence suggests that Australia's focus in the sporting arena has created a certain tradition. Like in many other cultural aspects over the course of its history Australia is moving AWAY from a focus on sports of British origin, to a broader outlook. Given that, if I have an 'obsession' with sports of British interest, why would I be suggesting a move AWAY from them? The original sentence said Australia's sporting focus was on sports of British origin. Now it says Australia's sporting tradition was the result of its cultutal and poltical links with Britain, which is true. Not necessarily good or bad, just accurate. I have never said Australia is ONLY interested in British sports. You are trying to marginalise my stance so that yours seems more credible. The whole of Australia was much more pro-British in its sporting and cultural outlook than it is now. Mentioning sport as part of the change AWAY from that stance is relavant, and merely mentioning a fact of history is NOT pro-monarchy. In fact by highlighting a move AWAY from that approach, it might also suggest Australia is also moving AWAY from being pro-monarchy, dont you think? As for the origins of Aussie rules, Marn Grook was part of the mix, certainly, but even the tiniest bit of research on your part will see that many of the rules were lifted from rugby, Sheffield and Cambridge rules football as well as Gaelic football. I think the current sentence works as it is, but maybe something broader such as 'a sporting tradition mostly involving sports of British origin' would be more satisfactory? Now you also say it could be removed and let the reader imply something from text which isnt there. That makes ZERO sense. Why not remove the whole article and let a potential reader imply the entire culture of Australia from an article which isnt there? I never said pro-British is best. I never said all sports popular in Australia are of British origin. I certainly never mentioned lords or superiors over Australia. That was you trying to create a straw man which is easy to knock down. So far you've managed ZERO facts to suggest that anything in that sentence is inaccurate. You've just implied a notion that merely mentioning the popularity of sports of british origin being popular in Australia is a political effort, and that somehow makes the line bad. Sorry, only an extremist who has no capacity for compromise would see it that way. And if you're an extremist without capacity for compromise, why bother discusing it further? Mdw0 (talk) 04:12, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Well if you're suggesting it's moving away from British sports, why not add it into the sentence? As it sounds atm, it looks like we are only interested in non-British sports if someone plays them internationally, which is not true. Just a suggestion NOT an order. BTW, regardless of what you say or what your answer is this is my final comment for this. I was dragged into this and now regret it.Sliat 1981 (talk) 09:25, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Culture of Australia[edit]

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Image copyright problem with File:Collins Street 5 pm .jpg[edit]

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Orphaned references in Culture of Australia[edit]

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Reference named "":

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Merging of folk and indigenous music[edit]

I'm not sure that merging folk and indigenous music into a single section is such a good idea. Although there has recently been some blending of indigenous music with other styles (folk, country, rock etc) historically indigenous and European-based music were distinctly separate things. And even now, indigenous music is quite distinct from folk (eg John Williamson).

I've also raised this concern at Talk:Australian_folk_and_indigenous_music#Merging_of_country_and_indigenous_music.

Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Mitch Ames (talk) 01:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Definitely different sections required. In particular Australian indigenous music is a literally "unique" tradition, whereas other Australian folk generally fits with ANglo-Saxon and Celtic traditions etc common to other nations.Ozhistory (talk) 02:25, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

AFL vs rugby evidencing Anglo-Celtic heritage?[edit]

This change was made recently to the lead paragraph:

... the popularity of sports such as cricket and

rugby AFL Football evidence a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage ...

I have my doubts as to the validity of this change. AFL may be more popular, but did the Angles or the Celts play it? I suspect not. Given the context, I think Rugby is probably correct, but I'm not very knowledgeable on sports history. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Mitch Ames (talk) 02:29, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

The change to AFL Football is silly, and probably just POV pushing. (And I say this as a Victorian!) However, it also seems a bit odd to have rugby there in the first place. Rugby League and Australian Football are each more popular on their respective sides of the Barassi line. Even Cricket, while popular all over the country, is certainly not part of the Celtic heritage, just Anglo. A clumsy sentence throughout. Delete it completely would be my recommendation. HiLo48 (talk) 02:58, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, coming to this post second. Yes Mitch, I spotted the same thing and shifted AFL out of that sentence - but I think it should be mentioned in intro elsewhere because it is so popular (albeit not everywhere), has strong traditions attached and is a local creation.Ozhistory (talk) 03:26, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
"Local" is a relative term. For most of the world, and in this context, AFL was invented in Australia, not Melbourne. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:46, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Rework of Introduction + Aboriginal history section[edit]

I find the introduction long and rambling. Looking at the introductions to the cultures of other countries, i.e. Culture of the United States of America, Culture of the United Kingdom, Culture of Ireland, Culture of New Zealand, I believe this one could be much improved. My idea of the best introduction is a short one, i.e. at most 6-7 sentences, though I understand others have made significant contributions to the introduction. My response would be to say that statements that need references (as well as things that aren't general) should be put in the sections.

Aboriginal history: I found the struggles between colonialists and indigenous peoples almost came as an afterthought and was not really dealt with either. I added a quotation from 'Blood on the wattle', by journalist Bruce Elder, (pg. 200), which I found in 'Genocide and Settler Society', with A. Dirk Moses as Editor, (on google books page 16) about 3-4 sentences in to the paragraph. The struggles are an important part in our history and I think have had a significant impact on our culture as well. Tjpob (talk) 21:19, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Show us your alternate introduction. Be bold. Mdw0 (talk) 01:07, 2 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi, wondering which of the edits I made on the Culture of Australia page you found 'not so good'. One of the edits expressed my reverence for Aboriginal culture, another expressed my awareness that 'the relationship between Aboriginal Australians and white australians has been... formative for the culture of Australia' - (I don't think prominence is at issue here, being strong enough to acknowledge prominence is at issue, and it's important we acknowledge this, because without acknowledging it we're only shooting ourselves in the foot, perpetuating our own barbarism started with the Genocide + extremely insensitive politics of Cultural assimilation of the first 223 years of European presence. Tjpob (talk) 17:14, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

I couldn't help but notice your comments here, Tjpob, and there are several things you have written here which are not really acceptable on Wikipedia. Firstly, edits should not be made to "express reverence" for anything, despite how important it may be to you. Secondly, your used of "we" and "our" several times is quite presumptive - do not assume other users are from the same country as you (even if, in this case, they are), despite what articles they may be editing. Thirdly, your use of genocide is a highly contentious and controversial statement, and should not be added into any article, unless with reference to the Australian genocide debate. Particularly, in your last sentence above, it almost seems as if you are accusing this user/this user's ancestors of committing genocide, which to many would be a highly offensive suggestion. Please keep these comments in mind the next time you edit a talk page. IgnorantArmies?! 08:05, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
oh.. I get it.. aborigines are not important.. same bloody line we've heard for 223 years. And, oh, what an insight, culture is made up of facts! Who thought views were important to culture.. load of cat rash Tjpob (talk) 10:33, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
look here and here - Tannin and the one who began the 'patriotism' section are pretty clear, and I think if you were a bit more objective, you would realise as well, that this article, while pushing an Anglo-Celtic line, (sports define us), some people think otherwise. Perhaps you're afraid that if we give space for an Aboriginal POV, then how can we regulate? It's not about NO points of view, it's about awareness of POVs, because even the absence of POV, as this case exemplifies, makes clear that it's only British POVs that are allowed.. no cultural article can be objective, but it can be balanced, and your objections are standing in the way of a more balanced + wholesome article. Tjpob (talk) 10:38, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I have not contributed to that article in any way – I am only responding to your statements on this talk page. And frankly, what you've written above does not make much sense - I would suggest you read WP:NPOV. Actually, all articles can be objective if they are written correctly and with sources backing up the statements made in the article. IgnorantArmies?! 11:10, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
If you spent the time of looking at the edits I made to this page in question, you would notice that they were referenced.Tjpob (talk) 11:14, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
If HiLo48 had issues with the non-referenced edits to the introduction (in making more readable), the referenced ones needn't have been removed. Tjpob (talk) 11:17, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
If you didn't have problems with the edits (+ the prominence I gave to the Aboriginal perspective on British colonisation), why call them 'not really acceptable'>? And did you mean that Aboriginal perspectives shouldn't have any space on the Australian culture page?? Tjpob (talk) 11:25, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia encourages balance in its articles.. and I don't think any reasonable person would disagree if I said that the Aboriginal experience has a place in the Australian culture article. Tjpob (talk) 11:33, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Tjpob, because you are pursuing a political line, sometimes facts are your supporters, sometimes inconvenient obstacles. Aboriginal culture, its decimation, and survival are relevant facts in Australian culture. And it is absolutely critical to have various balanced POV so that the article has an overall NPOV. But it is also a dispassionate fact that the Anglo-Celtic culture did and still does dominate. The sports that relate to our culture are predominantly the Anglo-Celtic ones. Expressing that fact does not mean that other influences are unimportant, and is not a reason for you to call other people barbaric. Mdw0 (talk) 07:57, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Folks, can you please take your discussion about the article to its Talk page. But since this is MY Talk page, I'll talk about me and say that some unfortunate assumptions have been made here. I've been involved in the education of Aboriginal kids for many years, and so am well aware of many of the issues. I am certainly not opposed to considerable mention of the different kinds of clashes and conflicts that have occurred since white settlement. I just wanted some of the content refined. The discussion above, in the right place, could be a valuable contribution to this. HiLo48 (talk) 11:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Barry Humphries[edit]

Proactive or provocative? Both would be accurate in my opinion. Would it be too humorous to insert "provocative and proactive" in place of the offending word, or should we encourage the coining of a new word in English? --Greenmaven (talk) 00:08, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

(See the the word 'provactive' in the article --Greenmaven (talk) 13:15, 9 July 2011 (UTC))

Oh! Need to read WP:NEO!! --Greenmaven (talk) 15:47, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Does he really deserve two photos in the article (one as himself, one as edna everage)? One is justified, but as much as I like him, he is somewhat like Rolf Harris, in that he seems to be more influential in the United Kingdom than he is in Australia. Saruman-the-white (talk) 12:14, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

History section just awful[edit]

The section indigenous to multicultural Australia reads too much like a narrative of left-liberal causes and 'struggles' - "indigenous australians", ethnic minorities, women's votes, asylum seekers, multiculturalism (a policy which has since been dumped in favour of integration), blah blah - putting great emphasis on small minority causes at the periphery of Australian culture to the cost of what could have been written about the cultural mainstream and yes, overwhelmingly largely white men, who shaped the history and culture of Australia. Could be called a 'marxist historical narrative'.

The section has since been significantly improved by the edits of ozhistory, although I'm sure it could still be balanced out so as to be less skewed and more focussed on the mainstream which forms the overwhelming bulk of Australian culture. Saruman-the-white (talk) 15:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

The section is a bit of a mess but I wouldnt say its awful. A history of cultural change generally irritates right wingers because they dont like the idea of the predominant culture being changeable. It is this conservation of the status quo that gives conservatives their name. Left wingers are generally pro-change, so long as its the change they want. However, even Saruman cannot dispute that 1788 and the gold rushes and post war immigration were not just minority causes. They were major changes in Australian culture - major shifts in the 'mainstream.' Whether or not anyone agreees that they were good or bad policies, they occurred, and had effects on Australian culture. If you have anything you'd like to add that celebrates your idea of the cultural mainstream, then quit whinging, get your referencing together, be bold and put it in. We could certainly use some mention of how the land impacted the psyche of the Europeans and their descendants, and the creation of urban Australian culture. I know most right wingers dont care to distinguish between an average small l liberal and a marxist, but Marx was an economist and a futurist who looked at the power relationship between workers and business owners, and despite a bit of silly sabre rattling rhetoric from both sides, for the most part in Australia those two groups of people have successfully banded together to combat the hostile landscape, isolation from markets and all the other shifts in culture to be productive and build the nation. Personally I dont think the structure of the government really has all that much effect on culture, so I'd cut that back a bit. The idea of Aboriginal 'reconciliation' and its failure could have a paragraph, because as it is the bits concerning Aboriginies in modern Australia aren't clear in their relevance to overall Australian culture. Mdw0 (talk) 07:42, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Tidy up?[edit]

I've reverted this edit, for the following reasons:

  • Removing the white space between the [[File...]] and subsequent text doesn't make any difference to the article display (as far as I can tell), but it does make editing more difficult, because it is harder to find the body text.
  • Barassi Line is legitimate article to link to in this context. Possibly the term should be used directly in the text, rather than hidden by a pipe, but that's not a reason to remove the link completely.

Mitch Ames (talk) 01:30, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Sentence in religion section[edit]

I have a concern that the following sentence is misleading and carries an implicit POV: "Christians have played a prominent role in Australian history and two Christian preachers feature on the Australian currency: David Unaipon, an Aboriginal writer and the Reverend John Flynn who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service." Neither of those individuals is remembered as a Christian preacher, and neither is on the currency because of either their religion or their preaching. I suggest the sentence be deleted, as they are irrelevant to religion as an aspect Australian culture. Other views? hamiltonstone (talk) 11:29, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. The section also repeats information, like the percentage of Christians (63.9% then 64%, hmm) and seperation of chuch and state (section's opening sentence and final sentence of the bulky paragraph). Also, too many images. - HappyWaldo (talk) 14:46, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes,good points from both of you. HiLo48 (talk) 18:13, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to disagree that Unaipon and Flynn are "not remembered as Christian preachers". A bit like Martin Luther King in the USA, their work had secular resonance and appeal but by their own accounts, was totally intertwined with their Christianity. John Flynn in particular should be noted, as Christians have been so heavily involved in establishing health care services in Australia because it's one of the emphases of their religion to do so. Perhaps if we delete the connector "and" then the text will be improved, without losing some interesting and relevant content about historically significant Christians?Ozhistory (talk)
It would look silly if I added a sentence saying "Non-Christians have played a prominent role in Australian history and..." then listed a bunch of non-Christians who fitted the sentence. Why single out Christians? HiLo48 (talk) 00:01, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Because that's the paragraph on Christians. There's room elsewhere for prominent others - in fact I've already put in Isaac Isaacs, as it is a revealing point of Australian history that it had a Catholic PM in the 1930s (it took the US decades longer to elect a Catholic, despite similar Protestant-Catholic mix) and that he appointed a Jewish Governor General (which some sources say was the first Jewish Viceroy in the Commonwealth. I think this says something about a relaxed attitude to religion in Australia.Ozhistory (talk) 00:15, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
I have made some adjustments to the paragraph: tweaking wording singling out "prominent Christians" (per Hamilton's objection), deleting repetition & removing one photo (per Waldo's comments). Have added note on diversity of public office holders (including Isaac Isaacs as GG) and noted that there is a third Christain preaher on australian currencyOzhistory (talk) 00:18, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Some of those changes are fine, but I would still oppose the inclusion of Unaipon and Spence in this section. They are not notable because of their faith, they are notable for certain actions / positions etc. Both may have been christians and sometime preachers, but are not notable for either reason. Inclusion in this section of the WP article rather than elsewhere implies otherwise. Flynn is a more complex case, and I'm happy to let that one go for now. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:01, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree on Flynn. On Unaipon and Spence, you'd be hard pressed to find sources that ignore their religion and both (like Luther King) used religion to garner popular support. On Unaipon - take a look at the $50 note. You will see that over Unaipon's shoulder is a chapel (Mission Point Church at McLeay). Furthermore, his book is full of biblical allusions. Some may downplay his Christianity, but he certainly didn't and nor have the designers of the Australian currency. On Spence, the RBA website notes that she was not only Australia's first female political candidate but also "She became one of Australia's first female preachers". Perhaps our article could be modified to note this type of wording? Ozhistory (talk) 01:58, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
I think my point may be being misunderstood. This WP article is about culture of Australia. This section is about religion. You'll get no argument from me about the fact that they professed christian faith or preached. Rather, neither of them appears notable for this WP article for this reason. In their biographies, yes; on the women's movement in Australia in the period, yes; on Australian currency yes; just not here. I would expect this section of the WP article to talk about the influence of the church (as it does), notable church figures (poorly done, but yes it has MacKillop), church-base organisations (which it does). But in a country where essentially all people were christians in the period in question, faith and being a sometimes preacher isn't enough to get in this article. This section of the article should be about the impact of faith on Aust culture, not on the impact of Australian people who were active christians on our culture. That mediating factor makes them not notable in this context. I am not sure I'm making the issue clear. I hope this helps. Perhaps it would also help if I indicated the sort of people who should be here but aren't, as active religious figures who had a direct bearing on the country and its culture: John Plunkett, Patrick Francis Moran, Daniel Mannix, B. A. Santamaria, Ronald Wilson (sorry about the lack of Anglicans, blame the relevant WP article :-)). hamiltonstone (talk) 03:12, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Televison section[edit]

The television section mentions several non-Australian shows, eg "British comedies have been consistently popular in Australia, with programs such as Fawlty Towers, The Goodies, Blackadder and The Office appealing to the Australian sense of humour." Does this really belong in an article on Australia's cultural output? Culture of the United Kingdom doesn't mention their love affair with Australian soaps. - HappyWaldo (talk) 19:53, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Culture and cultural output are not the same. Culture is about what we consume as much as what we produce. I would say that the fact that British TV is popular in Australia is, for example, a point of cultural difference between Australia and the United States for example (where British TV rarely has any impact beyond cult status). I would also say that noting the US TV is popular is relevant. I think noting what programs Australians have watched is relevant to a culture section - and I think the British page should mention Aussie soaps too!Ozhistory (talk) 00:29, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Australians consume all kinds of stuff from overseas, I don't see why television needs to be singled out for the purpose of outlining cultural differences with another (unrelated) country. There's just something off about seeing Inspector Rex, Queer as Folk and The Goodies in an article on Australian culture. It's taking up precious space where actual Australian culture could be. Early in the section, it says "While US and British television is popular in Australia..." That's probably enough. - HappyWaldo (talk) 01:56, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Sadly much of Australian "culture" is lapping up other countries' output rather than our own. Mitch Ames (talk) 08:45, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
I've reworded the sentence about British comedies in Australia (keeping the programme names, at least for now) because the cited ref didn't support the statement about "[those 4 programs] appealing to the Australian sense of humour" - it only mentioned one of them, and didn't mention the "Australian sense of humour". Mitch Ames (talk) 09:00, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Nobody can deny that. I'm a fan of most of these shows, but creating arbitrary lists of non-Australian things consumed by some Australians isn't really helpful. It's better to say that Australia is a highly globalized society with British cultural heritage and multicultural influences. The lead section does that fairly well. - HappyWaldo (talk) 10:06, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Cloudstreet - Australia's favourite book[edit]

I made this change:

Tim Winton has won the [Miles Franklin] award a record four times, including for Cloudstreet (1992), "Australia's favourite book" in 2003.[1]
  1. ^ Knox, Malcolm (26 November 2003). "Readers' poll puts Winton on cloud nine", The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 December 2012.

adding the year because the ref is a poll in that year (9 years ago).

HappyWaldo reverted, saying that it "has appeared at the top of polls since publication, most recently in 2012 (see Cloudstreet#Recognition)".

In fact Cloudstreet#Recognition says:

  • nothing about any its popularity between publication in 1992 and the first mentioned poll in 2003
  • in 2003 it was the favourite
  • nothing about 2004 - 2009
  • favourite in 2010
  • nothing about 2011
  • in 2012, #1 on the viewers of First Tuesday Book Club's list of "10 Aussie Books You Must Read Before You Die".

So yes it was favourite in 2003 and 2010, but is the First Tuesday Book Club representative of Australian readers? It was a "competition" (terms and conditions) not a poll.

I suggest that at the minimum we need state the year(s) that it was verifiably the favourite, and add the references (eg copied from Cloudstreet#Recognition) the supports those years. A blanket statement that it is the "favourite" is misleading when - even if we accept the 2012 ABC promo as being statistically valid - it was only favourite for 3 (admittedly including the most recent) years out of the 20 since it was published (and not the year when it received the award, which is why it's mentioned at all).

However, perhaps it would be better to drop the "Australia's favourite book" completely, rather than try to qualify it. Do really need it in this context? Mitch Ames (talk) 13:04, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Cloudstreet ranks first on every relevant 'best/favourite Australian novels' poll I could find. I think that's notable. And First Tuesday Book Club is Australia's most popular book club show, so it probably is representative of Australian readers. - HappyWaldo (talk) 14:54, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
It's just occurred to me that at least one of the 2003 polls is of "favourite Australian books", and the 2010 and 2012 "polls" are of "favourite Australian novels", not "Australian's favourite books". Ie Australian's favourite books might actually be the Bible, Guinness World Records, The Margaret Fulton Cookbook, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, but since none of them are Australian novels they wouldn't have been eligible to appear in those polls.
Thus we'd have to change our article to say "Cloudstreet (1992), Australia's favourite Australian novel", which just looks awkward.
If you think the book's popularity is notable enough to mention in that sentence it needs to be reworded or the year (2003) re-instated, because currently it is not verifiably true for any year except 2003. Mitch Ames (talk) [not currently logged in] 23:38, 11 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I was inspired to mention Cloudstreet's popularity after the host and guests on First Tuesday Book Club said they weren't surprised it reached no 1, and all agreed that "the viewers are right" (after bickering over the other top 10). Clearly it's achieved some kind unique status in Australian literature, and there must be a way of succinctly expressing that. "Australia's most popular novel" might work. - HappyWaldo (talk) 01:41, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
"Australia's most popular novel" is ambiguous and/or too broad. It could mean:
  • the most popular novel in Australia - which Cloudstreet may not be since 2003, because there may be non-Australian novels more popular in Australia since then (per my post above, as, the refs only cover Australian novels)
  • the Australian novel that is most popular in the world - if "Australia" describes the novel, rather than the readers, "most popular" is not qualified and so not limited to readers in Australia - but our refs are surveys of Australian readers only.
What about "most popular locally-written novel in Australia". This eliminates the need to write Australia/n twice. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:01, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
If you really want to get pedantic about it, then Cloudstreet doesn't qualify as "locally-written", because Winton wrote most of it in Paris and Dublin. I'll leave the wording up to you, no longer fussed either way. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:08, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm still inclined just to remove the phrase completely. The only short, technically correct phrase I can think of is "Australia's favourite Australian novel", which just looks awkward. The "favourite" phrase is nice to have, if short and accurate (but that's proving difficult), but in this context it isn't actually necessary to the main topic. Mitch Ames (talk) 07:24, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Multiculturalism in Australia[edit]

This feedback suggests the article should mention multiculturalism in Australia. The word multiculturalism appears in the article text (linked to the the general article of that name), I've added Multiculturalism to {{Australia topics}}, but should we have a Multiculturalism section in the Culture in Australia article, summarising the sub-topic and a {{main}} link to Multiculturalism in Australia? Mitch Ames (talk) 13:33, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

It's hard to believe the article doesn't have multiculuralism covered, given its subject. Yes, that should be added, good idea. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:27, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Sounds redundant to me. Multiculturalism can be (and has been) covered in cuisine, religion, the opening section etc. If coverage of multicultural influences in these and other sections is adequately expanded upon, then I don't know what use a section for multiculturalism would have. - HappyWaldo (talk) 06:27, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Do we need a montage?[edit]

I don't think it's possible to create a photomontage of Australian culture that appeases the many differing views on what Australian culture is. For example, we will never agree on what food item best represents Australia, or which aspect of Australian folklore encapsulates the nation. If any individual came close to doing that, I think it would be Tom Wills, but he's still on the margins of the mainstream. Ned Kelly might be worthy of inclusion for his unparalleled impact on pop culture, but then he remains a highly contentious figure and many people think he's overrated. We should probably do away with the montage, like Japan, the US, Canada, etc. Agree, disagree? Anyone daring enough to attempt a proper Aus culture montage? - HappyWaldo (talk) 07:34, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't think we need a montage. Apart from the problems of being truly representative, the montage has the additional problem of being just plain ugly. Montages are almost always ugly unless they are assembled by someone with designer skills and a vast array of photos that are well colour-matched, well scale-matched and with the subjects very clearly identifiable at small size. Please let us not have a montage! Amandajm (talk) 10:22, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd be happy to see the montage removed. It clutters the article without adding any value. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:34, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I thought it looked quite good - especially compared to what's there now, which is pretty boring. The flag on its own is a worse representation of Australian culture than the montage. Mdw0 (talk) 13:52, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Changes to the opening paragraph[edit]

Changes this dramatic should be discussed first. The opening line now understates the contribution of non-British migrants and the influence of the nation's geography on its culture, both of which are too important to be deleted from the opening. It also overstates the importance of rugby union. This line might have been OK circa 50 years ago, but not now.Mdw0 (talk) 08:23, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

It would be helpful if you could provide links to the diffs for the "changes this dramatic" to which you refer. Also for the specific version of "now" that you think "understates the contribution of non-British migrants...". The current version as I write this comment looks fine ("influenced by ... Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the British colonisation of Australia ... and the various waves of multi-ethnic migration which followed"). I suspect that you have reverted the changes you disagreed with, but it's not clear from your comments above. Mitch Ames (talk) 05:41, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

'No culture' stereotype[edit]

It is very strange that I can see no mention in this article of the stereotype, whether justified or not, that Australia is a country with no culture. A Google search for 'Australia "no culture"' gets 112,000 results. You may not like or agree with the stereotype, but not to mention something so widely discussed is bizarre. (talk) 10:23, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

That 'stereotype' though is only prevalent among a particular group -- young inner-city trendies with arts degrees desperately trying to prove how 'worldly' they are -- and is clearly misinformed. As anyone who has been to the United Kingdom or United States will attest, Australia has developed significant cultural differences even compared to its closest cultural relatives since 1788. Should a misinformed 'stereotype' be discussed on a topic's page -- ie should the page on Jews discuss the stereotype that 'all Jews are greedy and sneaky' or the page on black people discuss the stereotype that 'all black people are dangerous and prone to criminality'? Obviously not.--Saruman-the-white (talk) 00:49, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Outback gothic[edit]

With this edit, an editor recently reinstated some text about Australian horror films. In the edit summary, it was stated "First, a film doesn't have to be internationally famous to be part of the Australian film culture. Second, the theme of outback gothic has been dissembled for no reason because it listed a couple of less famous films." I took a look at the only citation in the reinstated text, and I see a key problem - it doesn't support the text in the article. The source doesn't support the sentence "A major theme of Australian cinema has been survival in the harsh Australian landscape.", it doesn't use the term "outback gothic", and doesn't mention most of the quoted films, such as Wake in Fright, The Cars That Ate Paris, Shame etc etc. In fac the only sentence which the source supoprts is the one that was already in the article before the edit was made: "Saw (2004) and Wolf Creek (2005) are credited with the revival of Australian horror." For now I am reverting the edit. If someone has some reliable sources, then further revisions may be warranted, bearing in mind that one of the issues that a couple of us editing this article have been concerned about is its great length, which is contributed to by long lists of stuff, and minor material. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:36, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to be a thought-out genre, just "bad things happen in the outback". The only hit for "outback gothic" on Google Books seems to be based on the cinema in Australia article! Re removal of films, I say trim it down to the absolute classics. Right now the best part of the Cinema section is the silent film paragraph, and it names only two films. - HappyWaldo (talk) 02:43, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Ouch. Not a thought out genre? A little harsh and dismissive considering the Google search engine throws up plenty of entries from worthy publications about outback gothic. Is Google Books the only worthy reference source? The be all and end all of referencing? Outback gothic is the Australian version of Southern gothic, and I think this section is interesting enough to go looking for some references, partly because it includes so many distinct and famous Australian films - even absolute classics - but also because its dismantling was replaced by boring historical reporting - this happened then this happened. It was a discussion of a theme with examples and was replaced by lists of stuff, which Hamiltonstone thinks is bad. It would be good if the removal had a correct edit summary - that it was deleted only because of poor referencing, not as was stated because it had a couple of less famous films mentioned.Mdw0 (talk) 01:27, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
1,590 results is "plenty"? Southern gothic has 715,000 results by comparison (and wiki articles in ten languages). Published books generally carry more authority than online articles and blogs. I think themes in Australian film – such as "gothic" treatment of the "outback" – should be weaved through descriptions of Ozploitation (119,000 results, has a wiki article) and the Australian New Wave. - HappyWaldo (talk) 02:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Rolf Harris[edit]

I don't think we should re-write history because someone turns out to be an evil person, a convicted criminal, or whatever. Harris's crimes can't change his place in Australian culture in the past. I'm happy with the recent deletion of the image, but the related deletion of statements about his role in our culture?? That isn't right. Other views? hamiltonstone (talk) 23:11, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Harris' role in Australian culture is minimal at best. He lived most of his life outside of Australia anyway. There's nothing distinctly Australian about his music or his art. He doesn't belong here, regardless of his convictions. --Dmol (talk) 23:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Not sure we grew up in the same Australia, though i take your point about his residency. I also think that characterising him as a singer of folk music was a mistake, so removal of that reference makes sense. But i struggle with the idea that there is nothing distinctly Australian about Tie Me kangaroo Down, Sport that charted at number 1 in Australia. He was described by Clive James as "the incarnation of / The Australian spirit, spry yet down to earth". He is the man who arguably broke the mould for the use of an Australian accent in broadcasting, something that in that era could only have been achieved in the UK, as he did. His influence is arguably bigger in UK culture than Australian, but I have trouble regarding it as sufficiently insignificant to warrant no mention at all. Perhaps a comment should be made in the section on television instead? hamiltonstone (talk) 01:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Hamiltonstone is right. Harris had a huge influence on Australian popular culture in his heyday. To deny it now is to deny our history. HiLo48 (talk) 10:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

For the Term of His Natural Life[edit]

Should this (in Culture of Australia#Literature):

As the convict era passed—captured most famously in Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life ... —the bush and Australian daily life assumed primacy...


As the convict era —captured most famously in Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life ... — passed, the bush and Australian daily life assumed primacy...

Does the book capture the convict era, or the passing thereof? (It's been a while since I read it...) Mitch Ames (talk) 10:00, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

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