To be an Australian in 2018 means what I wonder? Is it still that we are young and free, and girt by sea? Or, are we in the grip of a greed inspired by rapacious real estate prices for places we used to call home? Does the beach still beat at the skin of youthful bodies hell bent on having fun? Do we still like to have a beer with mates and friends? Our cultural narrative is evolving like everything else on this spinning blue planet. We crowd into coastal cities like Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, as if we are afraid of the wide expanses of the bush inland. Our 4WDs rarely leave the bitumen paved roads and highways that intersect suburbs like meridians.

Less White Bread

Our cultural narrative is less white bread, at the beginning of the 21C, it includes a few Chinese dishes and plenty of Mediterranean deli items. We chow down on foods from across Asia and Europe with relish. We break bread with Lebs and Turks, Greeks and Indians. Even our AFL teams are sprouting names like Majak Daw and Bachar Houli. Not to mention growing shapely breasts and bottoms in the AFLW; but boy do they go in hard. Sport and food are the great equalisers, the broad churches for an irreligious population. Gay people can, now, get married in 2018.

This Modern Australian Narrative

Policies are designed to please more people in this modern Australian narrative. Gender diversity acceptance is more appealing than the closed-minded attitudes of previous decades. Even the disabled are supposed to get a fair go in this novel land. Perhaps, we should change our name back to New Holland, because the Dutch have a reputation for fairness and that Amsterdam sort of thing. Nature’s alternative is another old thing made new again in this Australia circa 2018. Aussies frequent practitioners of complementary medicine to assist with their chronic conditions like allergies.

We Are Complex

Life is in your face like social media in 2018, where everyone has an opinion voiced anonymously. Australians are not the most courageous human beings on the planet, unless they are holding a fire hose or some sporting ball. We give generously to disaster relief appeals, but we contentedly watch unwanted economic refugees drown at sea. We are complex, I suppose, like characters in a good novel by someone like Tim Winton or Richard Flannagan. Remember to breathe, as you go about being Australian in 2018.