April Davis

G’day From Down Under: Aussie stereotypes that really bug us

kangaroo
Image: Newspix

April Davis would prefer to toss a few of the more pervasive Aussie stereotypes in the bin rather than on the barbie, although she does like the one about the drop bears…

 

Did you know that as a kid I rode to school in a kangaroo’s pouch? I then proceeded to spend my lunch wrestling crocs of the reptilian kind and my life-long diet has consisted of nothing more than shrimps on the barbie and Vegemite! If that’s not enough, my fashion staples are singlets, thongs and wide-brimmed hats with corks swinging from the rim, because yes, every single Australian dresses like a bogan.

…said no one ever!

Let’s get one thing straight. As much as I love Vegemite and wearing a colourful pair of thongs on a scorching summer’s day, the above Aussie stereotypes are filled with some of the biggest misconceptions about Australia. I would also like to note that we Aussies often get a good laugh from trolling people from overseas about these misconceptions.

Yes we have a lot of cute and dangerous wildlife, but no they do not live in our backyards. Please don’t assume that they do. I do not ride to school on the back of an emu; in fact they terrify me. I walked to school. My friends drove, or caught the bus, just like the rest of the country. If you want to see an emu or a kangaroo, go to the zoo or an extremely remote town where you might chance upon one in the main street. Wrestling a croc is a dangerous sport in which we don’t participate. Don’t even get me started on the snakes or spiders…but…beware the drop bears. They are real and they are everywhere!

We also don’t really live in the Outback. A lot of the country is covered with dry sand. but we don’t live there, in fact we barely even travel to those remote parts of the country. We live in comfort in our regular suburban houses or overly-priced city dwellings, just like the rest of the world. If you take a look at the country’s population, you will see that half the bloody country is empty while the rest of us flock in masses to a few key locations. Just hit the streets of Melbourne or Sydney on New Years Eve, then you’ll see.

Now, that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get to the good ones. There are some Aussie stereotypes in which we take extreme pride. Yes we’re all attractive, and sun-kissed. We are a fit bunch that live a laid-back lifestyle and we’re proud of it! I’ll even admit we do love a cold beer and chucking a snag on the barbie. We’re also a lot of other things. Please remember that Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, and Hugh Jackman are all Australians. In fact Kylie Minogue went to the primary school down the road from my house, and it wasn’t in no outback town!

April Davis

April Davis, a young Melbourne-based writer finishing a degree in professional writing and publishing, is an aspiring novelist flirting with the idea of historical fiction. She spends most of her time reading, writing and contributing book reviews to online publications.

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