What does it mean to be an Aussie? - 96five Family Radio

As we celebrate our nationhood, what does it mean to be an Aussie?

We celebrate Australia Day and laud characteristics such as mateship and mutual respect forged in the crucible of hard work.

By 96five Friday 25 Jan 2019LifeReading Time: 3 minutes

By: Warren Nunn

Australia Day. What does it mean to you? Is there a typical Aussie? And how would you explain that to an outsider?

It’s not easy to describe being an Aussie without reference to some of those events that shaped our nation. We remember, for example, the sacrifices made at Gallipoli, on the Kokoda Track and in the jungles of Vietnam.

If there is a measure of what it means to be an Australian, perhaps it really is the strong tradition of mateship formed on the battleground.

We owe a great deal to the relatively few that sacrificed so much that so many should benefit.

And perhaps characteristics such as being fair dinkum, giving everyone a fair go, or not taking things too seriously, flow out of the hardships that many in our nation have experienced.

We owe a great deal to the relatively few that sacrificed so much that so many should benefit.

Christians should resonate with the idea of sacrifice that benefits all.

Being fair dinkum Aussie

One of 96five’s supporters, Rob Thomas, has put together an Australia Day greeting that encapsulates being fair dinkum.

It goes like this:

G’day just thought I’d call to wish you a happy Australia Day

Fair dinkum, stick up for the underdog, you beauty and stand by ya mates.

That’s who we are, those things are what’s called quintessentially Australian.

So, let me bail you up for a bit, to bend your ear, on Australia Day, to give you the good oil on my best mate.

He’s a ridgey-didge top bloke, never comes the raw prawn and as honest as the day is long.

He’s no wuss that’s for sure and fair dinkum he’s a dead ringer for His dad

He’s the sort of bloke that if your life is going to the-you know where-and things are starting to look like a dog’s breakfast, well he’ll rock up, no drama just to let you know “she’ll be right mate”.

He started out as a chippy but around the age of 28 he answered the call to God, country and friends

But strewth, three and a half years on He was killed in the course of duty. Actually died to protect his mates. And the bludgers that got him beat him black and blue, but he held his own ’till the very end a dinky-di mate and true-blue hero for blokes like me and for folks like you

You’re probably thinking holy dooley, strike a light, fair crack of the whip Robbie I know who this cobber is

But if you’re still wondering my best mate’s name is Jesus and He’s the truth, the life and way

Australia I love you, I pray Jesus for Australia and happy Australia Day

Australian soldiers in France during World War One.

Australian soldiers in France during World War One.

Whatever your idea of what it is to be an Aussie, it’s useful to reflect on how fortunate we all are to live in a bountiful country.

And because this land was founded on Christian principles, people of faith have flourished and contributed greatly to the nation.

Some of the best Aussie characteristics

So, what follows is a list of Aussie characteristics we’ve prepared. We believe that most of us have some (perhaps most) of these traits. What do you think?

  • Mateship/tradition of the Digger/ANZACs
  • Fair dinkum/True blue
  • Fair go for all/Strong justice streak
  • Courageous
  • Easygoing, laid-back
  • Going for the underdog
  • Welcoming/All embracing
  • Loves a joke/Fun-loving/Larrikin
  • Not taking things too seriously
  • Tolerant
  • Fair play
  • Compassionate
  • Independent
  • Resourcefulness
  • Sport-obsessive
  • Rebellious
  • Hating authority, yet respecting it
  • Friendly, outgoing
  • The Aussie battler, working hard for what you get
  • Equality/Everyone is equal, no class structure
  • The Clever Country
  • The Lucky Country
  • Diverse/Multicultural
  • Passionate
  • Generous
  • Open and direct
  • Modest
  • Importance of family, sticking together

About the author: Warren Nunn has been a journalist for more than 40 years. For 27 years until 2013, he worked at Queensland’s main daily newspaper The Courier-Mail.