Is the Stereotype of the Typical Australian of the 1940’s/50’s Correct? By Matthew Coppola


In the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s, the typical Aussie ‘bloke’ could be seen as rugged, fair minded, egalitarian, supportive of his mates in times of need, hard working, hard drinking,  honest, a competent bushman who could survive in the harsh Australian bushland, was critical of Authority and critical of those who put on “airs and graces”.

Is this statement stereotyping the true Australian in the 40’s and 50’s? Or is it true? The validity of this statement will be discussed.

After World War Two, Europe was pretty much devastated,  many people in Europe came and seeked refuge in Australia as illegal immigrants. So after a few years, or by the end of the 1950’s, Australia was very diverse in its culture. Australians enjoyed new foods, languages and religious beliefs. But did this change the stereotyped Australian or that statement really stereotyping Australians in the 1940’s and 1950’s?

To validate the statement, it is best to look at each quote and assess it as to whether it  was true or false. In the 1940’s and 50’s an american newspaper had fostered this belief that that the typical Australian lived out in the bush and was very rugged. The idea of Australians being “rugged in appearance” was because Australia was a very dry country and narrow minded Americans only saw Australia as just one big country outback with kangaroos hopping around, not realising that in Australia during that time, there were flourishing cities and towns, Australians were actually civilized.

The belief that Australians are “critical of Authority” has its roots dating back to the war whereby Australian soldiers were fighting alongside the British to invade Turkey. The Australian soldiers were known for not accepting the British commanding officers authority.

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