From outback heroes to Anzac legends, from Aussie battlers to noble savages - these are familiar figures in the Australian story - but is it really possible to distil identity into stereotypes?
An all-women panel takes up this debate at the recent Festival of Dangerous Ideas and present a sweeping discussion on issues that concern our national psyche.
This event was presented by the Sydney Opera House and the St James Ethics Centre
Indonesian born Ien Ang is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Western Sydney. Her work spans various areas of the humanities and social sciences and her books, including Watching Dallas and On Not Speaking Chinese, have been translated into many languages. Her most recent work, which she co-authored, is "The SBS Story: The Challenge of Cultural Diversity."
Larissa Behrendt is Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology in Sydney. She is a also a practising barrister who has previously worked with the United Nations. She is an author of several books on Indigenous legal issues and in 2005 she won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for her novel, "Home". She was recently named 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year.
Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, director, and public arts advocate. Known to many for her major stage success as "A Star is Torn", Robyn is also a writer, including of political songs like "Pack of Women" and "Kold Komfort Kaffee". Over the past decade she has been Artistic Director of several arts festivals. She has recently been appointed as Creative Director of the Canberra Centenary 2013.
Bridget Kendall is currently the BBC's diplomatic correspondent. After studying modern languages at Oxford, and then post-graduate studies in Soviet affairs, in 1983 she became a radio production trainee for the BBC World Service. Later she was the BBC's Moscow correspondent and then their correspondent based in Washington. Amongst an array of world leaders she's interviewed are Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah of Jordan and Mikhail Gorbachev.