9 December 2015

Perceptions of

As Australians we all know that we live in a lucky country. In the 1960s Donald Horne wrote this very phrase and it has been an iconic Australian saying. Australia is seen as a country that never really experiences hardship, whether that is economic recession, civil revolution or horrific weather conditions and a place where the people don’t feel the brunt of international events. It’s almost as though we have managed to avoid these very real issues. Where does this leave Australians – are we taking everything for granted?

If we dig into our history, we will find that the backbone of the Australian economy is its natural resources. The minerals that Australia enjoys has allowed for unprecedented growth throughout the 21st century during the mining boom. Our standard of living is amongst the highest in the world, our health services and education are enviable, and our stability in government (dependent on one’s opinion) has helped Australia grow to become the economic powerhouse it is today. It’s easy to see why Australia is just lucky, due to its resources, geographic isolation and relatively cohesive society.

But do we whinge too much about what we don’t have?

We tend to forget how good we have it when this standard of living becomes normal. Due to our disposable incomes rising and the population consuming more and more, this lead to further capital being pumped back in the economy causing growth. Simple market mechanisms showed that consumer confidence rose prior to the GFC – it was a millennial party for the majority of the population. But when the impacts from Wall Street hit our fair shores, the music seemed to stop and the revolving hordes of people adding to economic growth declined. The government realized that if nothing was done, Australia would have ended up like other countries that still suffer from GFC. It doesn’t take a lot of research to realize the Eurozone isn’t in the best shaped, over half a decade on.

Australians are indeed lucky, but that luck is not the will of fate – it comes from concise planning and innovation. Not purely our mineral resources. The stability we experience now is not akin to the surplus of the earlier part of the 21st Century, but we have managed to evade a deep trauma. But are we still whingers?

The answer to that question is indefinite. Allowing a whole country to have a hang-up on complaining is absurd. The waves at Bondi Beach still lap against the sand, the rains still hammer down in Darwin and awaken the arid centre of Australia with a flourish of flora and fauna. We have university graduates entering into industries and businesses that are changing the world. Our cities are consistently dubbed the most liveable in the world and at the end of the day the stability we have is thanked for, consciously or subconsciously.

The nation of Australia is not a place of whingers, rather it is a place of betterment and innovation with individuals that have hard-work bred into their DNA.

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