Author: Amanda Laugesen
Bugger, rooted, bloody oath…What is it about Australians and swearing?
We’ve got an international reputation for using bad language (Where the bloody hell are ya?) and letting rip with a choice swear word or two has long been a very Aussie thing to do.
From the defiant curses of the convicts and bullock drivers to the humour of Kath and Kim, Amanda Laugesen, director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of Australia’s bad language to reveal our preoccupations and our concerns.
Bad language has been used in all sort of ways in our history: to defy authority, as a form of liberation and subversion, and as a source of humour and creativity.
Bad language has also been used to oppress and punish those who have been denied a claim to using it, notably Indigenous Australians and women. It has also long been subject to various forms of censorship.
‘If you’ve ever wondered why to use bad language in Australia is to ‘swear like a bullocky’, Amanda Laugesen’s Rooted will give you the answer.
Taking us on a colourful tour of more than two centuries of bad language that extends from the mildly offensive to the completely filthy, Laugesen tells the story of Australia through those words and phrases that have often been seen as unfit to print.
This is an engrossing social history – a bloody beauty – from one of our leading experts on Australian English.’ — Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, The Australian National University Price $32.99(AUD.
by Richard Willingham
The 20-storey public housing tower and its mural dominates the Collingwood skyline. Image Credit: ABC News
The 20-storey mural is the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Artist Matt Adnate hopes the artwork brings pride to residents of the housing flats
The work follows widespread success of silo art across Australia
The grade one student’s face is hard to miss as it stares out towards the city, painted across multiple levels of the Collingwood public housing block where he lives.
The 20-storey mural is the tallest ever painted on a building in the Southern Hemisphere, and once completed, will feature the faces of four residents who hail from three continents.
Photo: Looking down from above Arden is Badria Abdo, an Oromo woman from Ethiopia, who arrived in Australia in 2006 after more than seven years in a Kenyan refugee camp.“When I saw my picture here I was very excited, I’m very happy,” she said.
Image Credit: Photograph by Benjamin Ewens · · From Snapped: Water
Whilst the wife and child slept in the car I was out shooting this amazing scene.
The skies stayed perfectly clear and with no wind I was like a kid in a candy store running around looking for compositions to frame the beautiful milky way core!
The sunrise colours over Wooli beach, on the New South Wales northern coast, on this particular day were absolutely stunning.
Photo by ABC Open contributor Di Lymbury (Nardoo)
The Australian National Maritime Museum acknowledges all traditional custodians of the lands and waters throughout Australia and pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
When Captain James Cook first arrived on Australian shores on that historic day in 1770, he wrote in his journal that the Aboriginal people ‘may appear to some to be the most wretched people upon Earth, but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans’.
It is this journal entry that has inspired the Indigenous artist Michael Cook many generations and centuries later to produce his inspired and progressive art.
His work poses many ‘what-if’ questions, specifically. ‘what if the British had realised Aborigines were indeed civilised?
Would history have been different?’
via Australian National Maritime Museum.
LucyLucy, Box Hill
LucyLucy is a French artist who has made Melbourne her home.
Her works always suggest a story or a relationship.
This wall in a Box Hill laneway is a celebration of sisterhood with a Japanese city.
Her exclusively female characters are always beautiful but she adds to their charm by draping them in delightfully patterned fabrics or twining them with flowing ribbons.
Lucy is a member of the AWOL street art collective.
Image Credit: Photograph by LucyLucy.
The Australian Broadcasting Commission (the ABC) was officially launched on 1 July, 1932 by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and ABC radio announcer Conrad Charlton. “This is the Australian Broadcasting Commission,” Charlton said, before the Prime Minister inaugurated the ABC for listeners at home.
Prior to that first ABC broadcast, Australians relied on licensed wireless broadcasting services operated by the Post-Master General’s Department.
The system was run by a conglomerate, formed in 1929-1930 of individually operated radio stations across the country (this conglomerate was also called the Australian Broadcasting Company).
The ABC, however, was formed by the government as a way to regulate broadcast services and to ensure that audiences had reasonable access to a range and high standard of radio services.
The ABC was based on the BBC model and was originally funded by a combination of licence fees and some government funding. The ABC’s early services included twelve radio stations across the country offering live music, sport and information programs for 11 hours a day.
It was quickly embraced by Australian households and became a fixture of daily life for many.
Those first audiences were also warned by the ABC’s first Chairman of the Commission Charles Lloyd Jones not to expect the BBC given Australia was a colonial culture which could not compete with the “high broadcast standards of London
Photograph: Charles Lloyd Jones speaking on the ABC’s opening night 1 July, 1932.
In establishing the ABC, the government appointed a board of directors with five commissioners, including a chairman and vice-chairman. The board met for the first time on 27 May 1932, however, they did not appoint the ABC’s first General Manager, Walter Tasman Conder, until the following year.
In its early years, the ABC worked within the constraints of technological barriers for the times. For example, until a cable upgrade in 1933, the landline between Sydney and Perth could only carry speech and not music. Additionally,
Tasmania was not connected to the mainland for broadcast services until a phone line was constructed across the Bass Strait in 1936.
The ABC’s first journalist, P.C. Murphy, was appointed in 1934. Consistent with the times, news reports were often lifted from newspapers.
The ABC’s first Federal News Editor, Frank Dixon, was appointed in 1936 and the ABC’s first Canberra correspondent, Warren Denning, commenced broadcasting from the Parliament House press gallery in 1939.
The ABC radio schedule in the 1930s included a range of content, including: the Children’s Session with Bobby Bluegum and the first pilot for the Argonauts Club; race calls from Sydney’s Randwick racecourse on Racing Notes; cable news from London including stock exchange reports and shipping news; ABC Women’s Association broadcasts of housekeeping advice; and a schedule of assorted dramas, plays, sketches and lectures.
In 1934, music broadcasts became a mainstay following the appointment of Sir Bernard Heinze as conductor and musical adviser.
The 1930s also saw the beginning of cricket broadcasting on the ABC, with test matches in England relayed, ball-by-ball, via cable to the Sydney studio, where they were read out by ABC commentators – including Charles Moses who went on to become ABC General manager and Mel Morris – who described the match as if they were at the ground, “knocking” a pencil against the desk to imitate the sound of a cricket ball on a bat.
Photograph: Charles Moses at desk working on “synthetic” Test cricket broadcasts.
Pastel Paradise @ Gibson’s Steps. By Lisa Milne · · From Snapped: My town
Port Campbell VIC 3269
Lisa Milne, Contributor, Mildura VIC 3500
“Beautiful shot of our southwest coastline.”
In an unprecedented collaboration, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSAA) celebrate the past and present of Australian film with the new exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits.
Louise Lovely and Gordon Collingridge in Jewelled Nights (1925), directed by Louise Lovely and Wilton Welch.
In this classic double silhouette of the two stars, the photographer’s dramatic use of lighting highlights Lovely’s androgynous profile, while the construction and costuming of the still frames her in sharp relief to her co-star.
Jewelled Nights saw Lovely transcend her Hollywood starlet persona for her emerging identity of director, producer and dramatic lead. It was her first and only Australian film following her return from Hollywood. Only fragments of the film survive.
Photograph: John H Robinson/NFSAA
Toni Collette as Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding (1994), directed by P J Hogan.
P J Hogan’s award-winning comedy celebrates Muriel as a misfit and daydreamer determined to escape her dysfunctional family. The film introduced Collette to a global audience.
Robert McFarlane’s still is taken at a revealing moment halfway through, when Muriel is caught trying on a wedding gown for an imaginary wedding. She confesses to her friend Rhonda how much getting married means to her: ‘If I can get married it means that I’m changed, I’m a new person, [not] Muriel Heslop. Stupid, fat and useless. I hate her!’
Photograph: Robert McFarlane/House and Moorhouse Films/NFSAA
By 2022, the total funding cut to the ABC will be over $783 million.
The ABC’s 2019-20 operational revenue from Government of $879 million represents a decrease in real funding of $367 million per annum, or 29.5%, since 1985-86.
It is now operating with the smallest budget since the Howard Government’s extraordinary 2% funding cut in its first budget.
“In 1987, [the] ABC famously cost each Australian eight cents a day.
In 1987 dollar terms we now cost each Australian just four cents a day” – Louise Higgins, ABC’s Chief Financial Officer, 2018.
A thousand jobs have gone since 2014. Many were senior journalists and producers, with centuries’ worth of combined knowledge and experience.
Lateline and state-based versions of 7.30 have been axed. Radio current affairs programming via The World Today and PM has been halved, as has the number of hours of original scripted Australian content.
Specialist programming on Radio National has been cut, and over 100 ABC websites have been shut down. The ABC no longer covers local sport on TV.
Its local production units, other than for news and current affairs, in Adelaide and Perth have been closed, along with five regional local radio newsrooms. The Australia Network was cancelled, and international bureaus in Tokyo, Bangkok, New Delhi and New Zealand have closed or had their operations reduced.
The ABC provides a trusted source of essential news and information, underpins our social cohesion and national identity, and brings us together in times of crisis.
It educates our kids, informs our decisions as participants in our democracy, and provides comfort and entertainment in our homes.