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Summative Entry

“Australia is not a finished product.”

I’ve had this notion as the header for my blogspace from its inception and it’s been slowly ticking around in my mind ever since. Examining all the blogs I’ve written in retrospect all of them in one manner or another relate to the notion of identity and the forms it takes in this country.

What I think I’ve come to appreciate especially in these later weeks is the power of language in forming that identity. Each experience necessitates its own unique brand of language to express it and thus having being able to explore so many forms of written expression about Australia and living in this country in the past 200 years (and the traditions that were here for thousands of years before that) it would be presumptuous, if not simply arrogant to claim that Australia has revealed all that it has to offer.

This process is in full display on my blog discussing the contest between Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson in their visions of Australia, then in fervour surrounding the possibilities of Federation ( Lawson’s grim assessment of the harsh realities that the average Australian experienced were a far cry from Paterson’s visionary myth building. When two eloquent individuals writing in the same period in the same place, often published in the same outlet, produce such marked contrasts one cannot help but consider how many possibilities and insights lie for us to discover.

This trend continued into my next piece, a poem inspired by Tom Roberts’ painting Bailed Up, which I encountered during our excursion to the Art Gallery of New South Wales ( To cite my own explanation of this work, I wanted to expose a distinctive Australian trait; the carefree, she’ll be right attitude that can be applied to any pressure inducing situation. In a growing national fervor pushing for federation this representation begins to make a lot of sense. I wanted to capture this in the poem with an initial expectation of great drama and tension which can then be shattered by the end of the poem, with the cadence and choice of words.  Creating a dichotomy of experience within the one blog again really showcases the diversity of voices within the sphere of Australian Literature.

Coming into this final summative task, I felt a burning urge to continue writing building upon my final blog discussion on Magical Realism and the thorough enjoyment I developed for Dead Man’s Dance. Thus you will note the addition of a bonus blog piece beyond the requirements that hearkens back to my first piece in exploring the raw power of nature, providing a hint of the Indigenous voice that I was perhaps lacking within my blogosphere before this point ( )Australia is indeed not a finished product without their means of perceiving this land.

The blog I perhaps enjoyed composing most was the one directly based upon my own experience, a descriptive creative piece personifying perhaps the most fearsome storm that I’ve ever witnessed in person ( This is telling in that my own direct voice is the one to which I connect to most. Within each writer lies their own story and insights to share, with such a breadth of ideas to collaborate and fresh perspectives being added or indeed revalued, like that of our First Peoples. Australia is not a finished product, for its writers are yet to say all there is to say about us and what we see ourselves as being.

I thoroughly enjoyed this process of expression and being able to examine other’s methods as well, using them for insight and inspiration for my own understanding. They ended up featuring in several in person conversations as well. I look forward to repeating the experience in other units.


One thought on “Summative Entry

  1. This is a fabulous summative entry Andrew. I loved your drilling down to the differences that inspired Lawson and Paterson and your comments on the Gallery visit. Overally you share your passion and your creativity very powerfully in this piece and in all your entries. Well done!
    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help:
    * I wanted to expose a distinctive Australian trait; the carefree, she’ll be right attitude = I wanted to expose a distinctive Australian trait: the carefree, she’ll be right attitude [ use : and not ; here. Check out the differences: ; is not appropriate here- it is usually a replacement for a full-stop when two sentences are closely linked in meaning. So it is a bit like putting a brick in the middle of a sentence and shouldn’t replace the more mild comma!
    for further details on Semi-colons see Use a colon (often used for introducing quotes) : For proper use of colons see ]


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