January 10, 2012

It’s all in the question mark

True Blue, is it me and you?
Is it Mum and Dad, is it a cockatoo?
Is it standing by your mate
When he's in a fight?
Or will she be right?
True Blue ... True Blue.

This is the chorus from one of Australia’s folk anthems. Look how many question marks there are. John Williamson never actually answers the question what it is to be ‘true blue’?

Discussions about Australian identity always seem to have a question at the centre. The answer to our shared identity is wonderfully elusive – just when you think you might have captured it – it slips away.

While we might not have the exact precise set of words or an agreed sharp edged image of who we are, we still successfully live as Australians each and every day. We are a diverse people in a diverse land, valuing our democracy and our freedom and often our larrikin sense of humour.

There is no one single answer to what’s true blue. On Australia Day there are 22.5 million ways of being true blue.

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