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G4EBT  > BIKE     03.08.07 12:25l 145 Lines 5409 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
BID : 096121G4EBT
Subj: Re: Trail pictures (VK3FBD)
Sent: 070803/1112Z @:GB7FCR.#16.GBR.EU #:39627 [Blackpool] FBB-7.03a $:096121G4

Tony, VK3FBD wrote:-

> Whenever I have been overseas and mentioned Australia, I immediately
> get  comments about the "great outback", deserts, and dry lands

I think that this is in part due to the way Oz has been portrayed over the
years - sometimes by Australians themselves. TV progs in years gone by
such as Skippy, Flying Doctor, and films such as Crocodile Dundee have
added to that.

Beer and lager TV ads often portray Aussies as hard-drinking rufty-tufty
sheep shearers in beat-up pick-up trucks loaded down with beer crates in
a dustbowl in the outback.

They're meant to be humorous, but they do reinforce untypical stereotypes.

The sheer size of Oz is often emphasised, and the extremes of the climate,
the inhospitably of the interior, the diverse flora and fauna, Boomerangs,
didgeridoos, kangaroos, rabbits, sheep, sheep shearers, Aborigines...

You are rarely left with the impression that much of Australia has a
temperate climate, when anyone who's taken the trouble to finds out
knows this isn't so.

When Australia is promoted in travel brochures and by the tourist
board, a distorted picture is often given which reinforces some of
those misconceptions, and the more quirky aspects of Oz.

"Tourism Australia" is the official site of the Australian Tourist
Commission Australia. See:

You can view the "where the bloody hell are you?" tourism adverts there.

One shows a guy in a bar swilling beer, wearing a wide-brimmed hat: "You'd
better be quick because in this heat your beer's not going to stay cold
forever"! Another shows a "Sheila" on the beach (very easy on the eye!).

Well-made, very friendly, and very much tongue in cheek. They're just
adverts - not a documentary, but again, they are a bit stereotyped.

Anyone who can take offence at the word "bloody" used as an intensifier
in the ads has got a problem, but these ads do reinforce stereotypes.

If people take any notice of the travel ads they could be forgiven
for believing that the place is swarming with Aborigines.

The 2001 Census shows that Aboriginal and Torres Islanders make up only an
estimated 2.5% of the population (469,000/20mill), 28% of which are in QLD
and another 28% in NSW. (I say "estimated" because the actual numbers
aren't easy to accurately ascertain).

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics:

I can understand why the travel industry promote these images,
but they do give a distorted picture. Here are some typical ads:


FLY OVER ANNA CREEK STATION, the World's largest working cattle station,
from William Creek!

As the aircraft nears Anna Creek Station the cattle yards, race track,
station buildings come into view from a height of 2,000 feet. A short,
but spectacular flight from William Creek.


Fly over the spectacular Painted Desert to Cadney Homestead. From Cadney
Homestead, fly to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands, home to the most remote
and inaccessible settlements in South Australia.

The Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjara people have a strong tradition in
contemporary art practices. You will visit art galleries in three of the
four major art centres, Amata, Fregon and Ernbella. (Permits arranged).

Artwork produced and sold through these centres include exquisite batiks,
works on paper, paintings, natural dying, spinning, weaving, punu and

End quote.

There's clearly a market for these tours, and they're probably aimed at
Aussies as much as at the rest of the world, but they infer that
Aborigines have a happy life of self-sufficiency living in the outback on
bush tucker.

Anyone who's bothered to take an interest in these things will know
that this is not an accurate depiction, but don't let's go there.

> Well here in South Eastern Australia where my QTH is, it is not that
> way at  all.

From the outset it made sense for people to settle in the most hospitable
and temperate parts of the country around the coast unless there was a
compelling reason not to.

Despite the big play made of the wilderness areas Oz has one of the
highest urban population densities in the world, and the proportion
of city dwellers is increasing. Indeed, proprtionately less people
live in cities in the UK than in Oz nowadays.

Country       % Urban population
                 2002     2006
Australia       84.7      92.7
UK              89.5      89.2
USA             77.2      80.8
France          75.0      76.7

(Source: The Economist "World in Figues 2007_

> The state of Victoria, which is the state where I live, covers all the
> types of country you would expect to find anywhere in the world, from
> dry  in it's northern reaches to lush forest growth in the south and
> all types  in between.

> The terrain covers everything from flat plains to mountain ranges.

> Over the next few months I will release (slowly) a series of pictures
> taken whilst I ride along the various trails.

> I hope that you will all enjoy the varied types of scenery in the
> pictures.

Looking forward to that Tony.

I forget who it was that put some Oz pics out a few months ago.

Very interesting.

Best wishes
David, G4EBT @ GB7FCR

Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

Message timed: 11:41 on 2007-Aug-03
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