Ahh, Australia Day. A great celebration of Australian boozing and Boganism; tinnies, trashy dresses, ‘wife beaters’ and beer bongs. You can take the girl out of Darwin, though you can’t take Darwin out of the girl. I’ve seen just about all of it haha.
Leading up to Australia Day I’ve been doing some thinking on what it means to be Australian and what parts of our culture make us unique. I keep coming back to this idea of ‘mateship’ and how strongly we, as Australian’s, hold onto this concept as something that makes us fair dinkum, true blue ‘ozzies.’
I’ve not had a great run with mates lately and it has made me question a little the industry I have worked in for so long. The fashion world rewards ruthlessness above all else. You really need to be prepared to do whatever you can for a job, and often times this can mean doing something that’s damaging to either your friends or friendships. This is the part of the industry I have always fundamentally struggled with the most.
I grew up around military people, and even did my time married to a military man. Have you ever watched how military people; men and women, treat their mates? It really needs to be seen to be understood. They have an expression for it – “you don’t jack on your mates.” A person that breaks this rule forever becomes known as ‘jack’ and will likely have a pretty lonely existence from then on – an expression like that sticks for a career (“like s***t to a blanket” – if I were to be using a fine example of Australian colloquialisms). Looking after your mates is a cardinal rule for those in the military and it is taken extremely seriously. If you want to see ‘mateship’ in action, have a conversation with some Veterans on ANZAC Day and see the kind of relationship they have, particularly those that served in combat zones together.
Together with my years as a Cadet (from ages 13 to 20) and as an Instructor (from 22 to present) in the Australian Air Force Cadets; the military way of mateship is a type of world I grew and developed in – LONG before the fashion world became a part of my life. For me, my mates are above the politics of work.
I didn’t make any New Years resolutions for 2015, though as a first I have made an Australia Day resolution. I’m not alone when I say I’m sick of ‘frenemies’, so here’s to year of less ‘keeping the peace because you have to for so and so’ and more ‘if I cut you from my life, you handed me the scissors.’
There’s no better way to kick start this philosophy than on a weekend that celebrates our great nation for its national heroes (those great members of our society who have dedicated their life to tirelessly serving others), it’s history, culture…and mateship. I’m out on the water with my St Frock family (sun, BBQ, Champagne, great company & good laughs while dancing the day away), and later today I’ll be tuning in with my Sisters of the Sash to watch our gorgeous friend and Miss Universe Australia compete for the title of Miss Universe. Wishing you all the very best Tegan Martin!!
I hope this find you in great company over a BBQ or catching a wave at the beach. Don’t forget to ‘slip slop slap’. HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY,
Make it memorable. Keep it real.