There’s a phrase that I have slowly grown to dislike, which is growing in usage and popularity particularly around Australia Day – January 26th. If you are reading this outside Australia, Australia Day is the day when the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove back in 1788.
I heard this phrase as I had my haircut earlier today when over the radio the announcer promoted a dance party or a barbie somewhere and then closed off the announcement by saying something like, “It’ll be un-Australian not to be there!”. A local men’s magazine also recently crowns Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks as being the ‘un-Australian of the Year’ with the key reason that you’re not supposed to dob in (the Aussie speak for ‘to turn in’) your mates. It sounds more and more like a peer pressure weapon. Of course the phrase can be said in jest but when it’s taken very seriously and that non-conformity is labelled as ‘un-Australian’, it’s just very annoying!
So celebrate the non-conformity tomorrow as well and celebrate the difference! Besides, the country has always celebrated non-conformity: from the establishment of the penal colony, the Eureka stockade, and the cheeky nature of Australians who resent being told what to do!
Stop the social blackmail and please stop using ‘un-Australian’ in your arsenal of phrases. It will be un-Australian to say things like “un-Australian”!
Happy Australia Day tomorrow! Vive le différence!
PS: While googling, I found that a writer from The Age posted a similar rant in 2008 – even with a similar title. I’m not the only one who’s slightly annoyed by this!