WHAT does it mean to be Australian? When living in Australia, surrounded by other Australians, we may not have the opportunity to ask ourselves this question very often — apart from those few moments on Australia Day, or Anzac Day, when we examine what it is that shapes our identity, culture or values.
However, when living and travelling overseas it seems these questions come up more often — as your own sense of who you are and where you come from are frequently brought into sharp focus through contrast with countries that have different cultures, histories and stories.
With around 250,000 Australians present in London at any time, representing over 1% of the total Australian population, this community is by far the largest diaspora outside Australia — a substantial group comprising diverse selection of high-achieving professionals, youth workers, students and many others.
The unique perspective this diaspora community could offer on questions of Australian identity has been identified by a group of Australians residents in London (forming the “London Steering Committee”), along with the Australian Republican Movement (“ARM”).
To answer these questions the ARM will host a ‘Being Australian’ event entitled “Our Identity: Who do we want to be?” to engage the Australian public in a conversation about out national identity.
“The aim of Being Australia(n) is to inspire a unique conversation about our identity from the perspective of Australians abroad” said Cal Viney, who co-chairs the London Steering Committee of the Australian Republican Movement with fellow ex-pats Marielle Smith and Simon Rowell.
“Being Australia(n) will bring together a broad selection of Australians resident in London for the first time to discuss their unique perspectives on what it means to be Australian and how this is framed by living on the other side of the world.”
The event will include an address from ARM Director David Morris, along with a Q&A style discussion with a panel of notable Australians living in London, from different backgrounds, including finance, law, public administration, arts and non-profit sectors.
Join in this important conversation on Thursday 27 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Graham Wallas Room (Fifth floor, Old Building) and the London School of Economics & Political Science, Houghton Street London WC2A 2AE.
If you have any questions about the event contact Cal Viney on +44 (0) 7447596872 or [email protected].