The Australian Bush

What is the Australian Bush? 

Australian’s refer to the Australian Bush as the very rural areas outside of the city where few or no people live. The term ‘Australian Bush’ is used in Australian literature, painting, popular music, films and foods to help define Australian’s idenitity.

Australian bush

Is the ‘Australian Bush’ a unique construct?

It is unique because it has a different landscape compared to landscapes in Europe.

Many myths have evolved from the Bush, for example the Bush was said to home to lost children, outback women, bushrangers and drovers and the Bush helped them to survive with food to nourish them.

An example of a lost child was Clara Crosbie who was 12 years old and was found after three weeks in Lilydale in 1885. Frederick McCubbin drew an oil painting of her lost in the Bush in 1886 which is shown below.

Lost in bush

Aboriginals lived in the Bush and as they live outside they had to find ways to eat and find medicines to live from. Today, Aboriginals are said to be much healthier than other Australians due to their natural remedies, such as tea tree oil. As Aboriginals lived there is shows a great unique construct because Aboriginals are very unique to Australia. Below is a video which shows the types of natural food that the Aboriginals ate from the Bush.

In more recent years, the Australian Bush has become a unique construct because it displays Australian identity in films such as Crocodile Dundee.

Dr Tim Flannery said that the Australian Bush is ‘the only thing that we all, uniquely, share in common. It is at once our inheritance, our sustenance, and the only force ubiquitous and powerful enough to craft a truly Australian people.’ This shows that the Australian Bush is thought by Australians to be a unique construct to them that shapes them as people and all share.

How does ‘the Bush’ differ from ‘the Outback’?

Apart from the cities in Australia, the outback makes up the most of the other areas. It is 6.5 million square kilometres with less than 60,000 people living there. The Outback is said to be beyond the Bush, if you keep going through the Bush then you will reach the Outback.

The Outback is desert and is too dry to grow crops, whereas the Bush consists of shrubs and trees and varies from open country to dense rainforest. Below are two pictures which show how the Outback and the Bush look different.

The Outback

The Outback

the bush

The Bush


Is Melbourne a global city?

melbourne-06 Melbourne is currently the world’s most liveable city including a population of 122,207 residents (2014). There are 1,674,612 international visitors per year (2012), this shows that a lot of people travel from abroad to visit Melbourne and are of different nationalities and cultures, so they bring this with them to the city. 48% of residents were born overseas (2011) which means that a lot of the residents are not actually Australian, this demonstrates Melbourne being a global city.

In 2011, Melbourne was ranked as number 18 joint with Singapore for being the most economically powerful city in the world, with a $135 billion output. This shows that Melbourne is an important part of the global economic system.

The history of Melbourne is very multicultural, for example Chinese communities settled in the 1950s, Indian in 1800s, British in the 1920s and other Europeans in the 1950s, so people have migrated from all over the globe. There are many different styles of food in restaurants and cafes that reflect this as well as festivals. Below is a video which shows the Melbourne Thai Culture and Food Festival at Federation Square in 2014.

Australian identity tends to not be just be Australian born people but also people from all over the world which makes Melbourne a global city and society. As Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world, the multicultural aspect is valued highly because it is very diverse but still has a great atmosphere and sense of belonging, therefore Melbourne really is a global city.

My time whilst abroad studying

I have been studying in Melbourne, Australia now for 2 months and it has been the best experience! I have been participating in group assignments, group presentations and a group photo story. My course at home does not involve presentations or group work, therefore it is fun to experience something new. Also this way of being assessed has also boosted my grades so far, therefore it shows that different ways of teaching and assessing abroad can actually help your degree!

Apart from studying I have managed to travel up the East Coast of Australia to Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and Noosa in my mid-semester break. A lot of other international and exchange students want to travel while they are here as well so it is a great opportunity to travel in groups and make friends. New Zealand and Bali are also close to Australia so I am hoping to visit them places too.


I have not yet felt homesick as I am so busy with work, sight-seeing and travelling that I never feel alone. Also Skype and Facebook are a great way to keep in contact with people, I have managed to keep in contact with my friends and family at home regularly. The study abroad office at Essex university is also always very quick to reply to emails about any queries you have whilst you are abroad and are very helpful.

I have made some good friends from all over the world which is great because I have learnt about so many different cultures and languages. We are already planning to meet up next summer once we leave Australia!


Thinking about Studying Abroad?

The University of Essex offers an opportunity to study abroad for either one term or a whole year for any course that they offer. You can choose to do this either before you start or your course or during your course. Your time abroad would always be in your third year of studying and it requires you to return to the University of Essex for a fourth year to complete your degree (some people know this as a sandwich course).

I chose to study abroad in my second year of university. I chose to do it because I come from Essex and also study in Essex so I wanted to get out of the area to explore more and widen my knowledge of the world and different cultures. I travelled the year before in the summer holidays and loved it, therefore it made me want to travel more and studying abroad was an option which is also affordable.

I visited the study abroad office many times to discuss my options and they were extremely helpful! They discussed different countries with me and were very supportive. I finally decided that Australia would be the right country for me. They gave me a list of universities that the University of Essex have links with, so then I began my research.

Since I have been here I have made many new friends and had lots of new adventures. Alongside my studying I have managed to travel to parts of Australia as well which has been amazing!


I would really recommend doing a year abroad if you want to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Consider all the opportunities and costs before making your decision and make sure you research into the universities abroad before choosing!

Check out the link below if you’re thinking about studying abroad at Essex!

Australian Immigration (based on my home country)


Whilst visiting the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, I came across a journal which was written by Benjamin James Watling who came from my home county Essex in England. He worked in an accountant’s office in London and was married with two daughters. In 1951 he decided that him and his family should immigrate to Australia for a better life.

They took the SS New Australia ship from Southampton (south of England), which took them a whole six weeks to travel! The Watling family had two stops on the way, one being in Fremantle and the other being in Melbourne. They eventually arrived in Sydney and created a transport business between Sydney and Melbourne before purchasing a banana plantation in New South Wales. However, one of the daughters decided to stay in Melbourne as she felt settled there.

The museum had a journal which was written by the Benjamin James Watling; some of the pages of his 47 page journal he wrote are below.


This shows how England has contributed to the diverse culture that Australia has today. People from the UK were some of the first settlers in Australia, which is a reason why Australians speak English. As people from around the UK have different accents, it is said that this is how the Australian accent was formed.

Britain sent over criminals to New South Wales when their prisons were full, this happened up until 1823. The British criminals were eventually seen as workers and used for labour rather than being criminals, therefore British people helped the character and identity of Australian’s develop.

I notice many similarities between British and Australian people even though we live on opposite sides of the world. In 2013 it was said that there were 1,277,474 British expats living in Australia which was more than in any other country.