Advanced Area of Study Essay: Australian Identity

What ideas and concepts about the Australian identity have you encountered in your study? Support your extended essay response with an analysis of at least 2 core and 2 related texts.
The notion of Australian Identity has many meanings and interpretations. As a result, the Australian Identity is quite diverse, and has changed throughout time. Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country’ (1904) represents an Australian voice which explores the role of Australia’s landscape in defining its early identity; much like Max Dupain’s ‘Sunbaker’ (1939) which explores the ‘quintessential’ love of the landscape present in the Australian identity. On the other hand, Bruce Dawe’s ‘Life-cycle’ acts as a satirical take on the importance of sport in the Australian identity, a notion challenged by Amy Corderoy’s opinion article ‘Ever expanding Waistlines’ (2011). Thus through a range of literary, photographic and satirical techniques, these texts explore the diversity of Australian identity.
Mackellar’s My Country serves as an affectionate poem dedicated to the love of the Australian landscape. Written while homesick in England, the poem exemplifies a perception of Identity which defined an early Australia. The poem begins with a reference to Australia’s English heritage, with ‘the love of field and coppice’ and ‘ordered woods and gardens’, creating the image of a controlled, safe and ordered environment. This is contrasted with the next stanza, where she begins with the famous lines, ‘I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains’. The use of the personification in the imagery of ‘sunburnt’ and ‘sweeping’ create an image of a free, untamed landscape, unlike England. This is reinforced by the paradoxical line ‘Of droughts and flooding rains/her beauty and her terror’. Furthermore, the reiteration of ‘her’ and ‘love’ in the following stanzas convey a sense of deep, almost maternal affection for the land. This is emphasized in the repetition of the line ‘Core of my heart, my country!’...