Myth and Reality The Australians- 1930 to 1960

Ho, Frances
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Have the Australians really been a “lucky” nationality, as “Aussie” Donald Horne, former editor of the Sydney Observer, would suggest in his The Lucky Country, or even perhaps a “weird mob,” as in native-born John O’Grady’s burlesque of Australianisms and the “fair dinkum,” Aussie? Since their questionable emergence from Captain Phillip Arthur’s ship in 1788 until today, the Australians and their British ancestors appear both “lucky” and “weird”. The relatively few years of Australian exploration, expansion and settlement, in comparison with European and Asian standards- two hundred years are remarkably brief for the growth of such a vigorous, materially comfortable nation- stand as witness to the sturdy character of the British people who first colonized an unpromising, hostile environment for either penal purposes of punishment and rehabilitation, or to gain a pure livelihood distant from the familiar socio-economic struggles of their homeland. Furthermore, native-born Australians who survived the ruggedness of the geography, the remoteness and isolation of Terra Austrais, indicate the hardy, yet adaptable character of these people. With its limited natural resources, supplies of water and irrigable earth, Australia has managed despite these limiting fact and a small population to establish herself as one of the most urbanized countries of the twentieth century, and one possessed of an extremely impressive living standard.
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