What Does being Australian Mean to you?

‘All of Aus’, a new initiative by Qantas, is asking all Australians what Australian spirit means to them in 2009. ‘All of Aus’ ambassadors, Jessica Mauboy (pictured) and John Eales have spoken about what Australia means to them, and are encouraging all their fellow Australians to do the same.

‘All of Aus’ is an online forum from Qantas, asking people from all walks of life their thoughts on what sets Australians apart from the rest of the world, what makes Australia great and what it means to be Australian.

www.allofaus.com.au will be the home of the ‘All of Aus’ initiative, a showcase of the images, thoughts and quotes that everyday Australians and some well-known locals, believe represent what the Australian spirit means to them. There are some really interesting debates and views from thousands of people on the forum already, but there is plenty of room for more.

Jessica Mauboy, who this week has been celebrating her latest single, ‘Because’ debuting in the top ten on the ARIA Singles chart, says that for her, Australian spirit revolves around the ability of Australians to be genuine and to laugh at themselves.

“I don’t know many Aussies who can’t laugh when they embarrass themselves or, at the very least, not take everything that life throws at them too seriously,” said Mauboy. “For me, Australian spirit comes back to this celebration of everyday and the ability to find joy in situations. It is our willingness to encourage those around us to follow their dreams, even if it means letting your daughter sing to every television commercial that comes on, just like my parents did.”

According to Wallabies legend John Eales, Australian spirit is defined as much by those acts that go unknown and unrewarded as those seen publicly.

“What accurately defines Australian spirit are the many unknown acts that occur every day without recognition,” said Eales. “It is the bloke who comes to the aid of his aging neighbour who lives alone and lies in fear at every noise through the night, it is the mum who helps out on the school tuckshop when the pressures of home just keep mounting up, it is the everyday person that thanks god that it wasn’t them in the fire and tries to make up for it by helping in any way they can.”

“In short it’s all those things that we ordinary Australians do everyday just because we belong and we want to do our bit,” he concluded.

‘All of Aus’ is a great opportunity to let your view be seen or heard rather than the Australian spirit being defined by advertising and marketers. The site at www.allofus.com.au will remain live until 17th July, after which a book will be compiled of the interesting thoughts and responses from the Australian public – so it’ll be well worth your while to participate in the project!

To contribute to ‘All of Aus’ simply visit www.allofaus.com.au or SMS your thoughts on what sets us apart and makes Australia great to 199 8889*.

* SMS cost a maximum of $0.55 each.

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