What is Australian?

Posted on 13 January 2010. Filed under: Rant and Rave Time | Tags: , , |

This is a topic that’s been examined in so many ways and by so many people and I really need some help here. I’d really like other people to tell me what they think. People tell me I’m unAustralian because I’m not interested in football, or in fact any kind of sport, but how is that possible? I was born in Australia and I’ve lived here all my life, my parents were both born in Australia as was one of my grandparents. I live here and was born her I must be Australian but according to those people I’m not. Let me give you some more thoughts and bring you to my questions.

I have two subcategories on my website called Australian, one under Teens and one under Adults. I haven’t examined the categories too closely, if something appears to have come from an Australian author it goes there and that’s all very well and good but each book could easily go in one or more categories. John O’Grady (AKA Nino Culotta) could be in either Adult or Teen and could also be under Humour while some of his books could be under Memoir. They are very fluid and it’s sometimes challenging to know where to put them. The problem comes with people like Kathy Lette and her husband, Geoffrey Robertson QC. Both were born in Australia and every reference I can find on the web refers to them as Australian but it always puts the word expatriate in the same phrase. So, judging by the use of the word expatriate, they’re Australian but they don’t live here.

And here is my problem. I’ve been handed an idea on a gold platter and I’m trying to make it work, I’m going to put a lot of effort into it this year and I hope it will work because if it does it will promote Australian authors. This is where the problem lies, it will be restricted to Australian authors but should they be people who are currently living in Australia or are expats part of this definition of Australian? The idea will be to support and promote the Australian writing industry and I just need a little help with the definition of “Australian Writing Industry”. Can I include people like Kathy Lette, Geoffrey Robertson or Merridy Eastman even though they’re not living here? Is that helping the Australian Writing Industry? Will that mean Australian writers and their support network, publishers, agents, booksellers etc will benefit or is it just benefiting those authors?

Anyway, I’d really appreciate your thoughts. You can comment here on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, but only if you know how to find me because I don’t know how to give you directions, you can even email me. Everything you say will be put into the thought processes and help the final decision.

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6 Responses to “What is Australian?”

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You could go by citizenship??

And you are not un-Australian to not like football, you are un-Melbournian! 😉

I don’t see your logic, I’ve lived in Melbourne all my life. How can I be un-Melburnian just because I don’t like football? I just don’t get it.

Citizenship is all very well but what about authors who migrated here, have lived here for many years and not been through a citizenship ceremony? Sorry, more questions. The idea is to help the Australian Writing Industry so I’m not sure that fits. But I like the suggestion.

I would probably define an “Australian author” as an author who identifies themselves as being Australian regardless of where they reside or were born. I’m pretty sure Kathy Lette and Geoffrey Robertson would define themselves as being Australian, despite living most of their adult lives in the UK.
To further muddy the waters, how would you categorise an author such as Tara Moss. Born and raised overseas but living (and writing) in Australia by choice?

Again, I’m not sure it helps the Australian Writing Industry as they’re not actually in Australia and their publishers etc are probably overseas. It’s definitely food for thought.

But they would have an Australian arm of the publishing house. And most of the ‘big’ publishing houses are overseas owned anyway.

So, I think I’ve added absolutely nothing to your discussion….. sorry!

You have added information to the mix. I hadn’t thought about the publishing houses being owned overseas. It’s all good stuff. I do appreciate it.


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