Aerial view of beach in Australia Aerial view of beach in Australia

A celebration of our diverse nationAustralia Now

Welcome to Australia Now. We are hoping you will indulge us a little with this series, as we go beyond travel for a time to do a deep dive into who we are as a nation. The motivation for such introspection is not just down to the pandemic or the Black Summer fires before it, although it is also about both. It stems from a desire to really pause and look at the land we live on from all angles, through its people, its landscape, its traditions. It has given us a chance to explore the wonderful diversity stitched into the fabric of our country. Our unique identity within the world. And also our commonality of purpose and passion.

 

In order to do this we have sought out voices and listened to stories. About the kind of people we think we are. About the kind of country we want to live in. About the places we want to thrive and flourish in. About the exquisite traditions and cultures of the First Peoples of this land, who have respected and interacted with it for millennia. And of the future we need to be taking action on now in order to safeguard for millennia to come.

 

We hope that you enjoy this very special series. That it makes you think. That it triggers conversations. That it inspires action. And, most of all, that you can see yourself reflected in it. Because the story of Australia Now is the story of all of us.

Society

Who are we as a society? There are answers hidden in everything from the food we eat and how we treat other people to how we look after our country and how we respond in a crisis. We have sought out some of the most influential voices of our time to unpack who we really are at this moment in Australia and take a look at the trajectory of where we are headed.

 

Social researcher Rebecca Huntley reflects on how times of crisis can reveal much about our national identity; celebrated psychologist, social analyst and author Hugh Mackay explores what sort of society we really want to be; Lara Picone examines our multicultural journey through one of its most obvious markers: food; and Tim Flannery, acclaimed scientist, explorer, conservationist and Chief Councillor of The Climate Council talks tipping points, climate vaccines and the action that we need right now to ensure the future of the planet.

 

First Nations

The legacy of the land we stand on is a gift to be respected and appreciated. It is one that is generously shared by the First Nations people who have dwelt here for at least 65,000 years. It embraces the wonderful belonging and identity of Country, of coming from the land rather than just existing on it. It is gloriously reflected in the colour and beauty of Indigenous art, which possesses its own intricate language of place and tradition and collective history. And it is in the power of gathering to tell stories and speak truths, inviting people to listen and learn in order to chart a course that will ensure the cultures thrive through millennia to come.

Place

Australians are renowned travellers and, despite closed borders, the pandemic has proven as much. But it has also revealed our changing attitude towards the types of places we value travelling to and our increasingly shifting thinking around how and where we want to live. Now that the thrill of international travel and cruising is back on the agenda will we still feel the pull of a domestic holiday? And with many of us taking this moment of collective pause to rethink how we live and work, will decentralisation become the key takeaway from the pandemic? We explore all this and more below.

 

People

For a snapshot in time, we asked people around the country – from a hot-air balloon pilot in Victoria to a whale shark researcher in Western Australia – what do you love about where you live and what you do, how have you weathered the events of the past 18 months, how do you feel about Australia now and how do you feel about the future? Here is what they had to say.

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