Have you ever thought of what it meant to be Australian? I have always pictured it as going to your mate’s house on a hot summers day, cracking open a beer and enjoying a nice snag cooked fresh from the barbie, sitting down in you fold-out camper chair and conversing til the sun sets. However, after studying poetry in class and leaning that poems have the power to convey what it means to be Australian directly through the authors perspective. I now believe that Australian’s not only share a deep affinity for their country but a passion for the vast and barren landscape. “Then and Now” displays Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s unique sense of place and adoration for what Australia once was. “My Country” conveys Dorothea Mackellar’s passion for Australia and her sense of belonging despite her living on the opposite side of the world.
Oodgeroo Noonuccal depicts what it means to be an Australian through her poem “Then and Now” as it displays certain qualities of what i believe an Australian to be such as Noonuccal’s respect and affinity for her country. “Laughing as they hunt and swim” is a quote in which Oodgeroo Noonuccal expresses her unique sense of place through writing about how she dreamt of her tribe which portrays how he she felt connected to Australia. She then continues on to an abrupt “but” that presents a difference in opinion and how she feels differently about her dreams. Directly after she says “but”, Noonuccal then goes on saying “dreams are shattered by rushing car, by grinding tram and hissing train”. This quote explains that her dreams are crushes by the industrial revolution which have taken away her culture and forced her generation of aboriginal people to be modernized against their will. Present tense verbs are used to relay the message to us about how modernization will always be happening and she can not go back to how things used to be.
Dorothea Mackellar’s poem “My Country” portrays what it means to be an Australian as her poem conveys her sense of belonging and passion for Australia. This is evident in stanza one and stanza two as it England’s scenery to Australia’s landscape. England’s scenery is described as “grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft, dim skies”. Dorothea Mackellar then describes Australia’s landscape as “a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains”. The comparison of the two countries indicates that Mackellar’s persona believes that Australia’s remoteness and uniqueness makes it incomparable to England’s dull and depressing landscape. The comparison of the two countries also suggests that Dorothea Mackellar is in fact loyal to Australia despite her moving away to England and living there.