Football, meat pies, kangaroos and ……………?

The Australian identity has drawn a blank

Original version December 2013 – Updated March 2023

This essay discusses the
and concludes it has gone astray

“We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars”. (YouTube) So went the famous 1970’s Holden advertising jingle. A patronisingly corny attempt to beholden Australians to their remarkably unsophisticated sense of national identity. Holden was after all ‘Australia’s own car’.

Sadly, for thinking Australians, it was an extraordinarily successful campaign, which served to demonstrate our collective gullibility for national identity gibberish. The advertising ‘geniuses’ behind this campaign clearly recognised that Australia’s sense of itself was so shallow that it could be capitalised on. And that, they did with zeal.

The first car to be wholly manufactured in Australia was the Holden, launched in 1948. The design was based on a post-war Chevrolet proposal previously rejected by General Motors. Faint praise indeed. ‘Australia’s own car’ was an American reject and as disingenuous as a shrimp on Paul Hogan’s barbie. ‘Australia’s own car’ was a myth.