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A World Of Australians

What is an Australian? It was this question which occupied my mind when I was originally asked to photograph a cross-section of our population for an international magazine. What started out as a magazine assignment grew into this book. In search of Australians, I discovered a rich tapestry of ethnic, cultural, philosophical and spiritual strands which make up what is arguably the most diverse national population on earth. There is no doubt that Australians are from everywhere!

The seventy portraits represent a blend of ethnic groups who are Australia's new settlers. I have not sought to portray our traditional groups - the Aborigines who are the original Australians, or those who arrived over the past two centuries. The common thread which binds the seventy is that they were all born outside Australia. Not every nationality or ethnic group living in Australia is represented, merely a potpurri which demonstrates our diversity. I also sought to avoid stereotypes and, in the process, discovered some remarkable situations: a Sudanese expert on Aboriginal culture, a Japanese sushi chef who owns a fish and chip shop, a Swedish opal miner, an Australian camel breeder, and an Indian sugarcane farmer.

What brought these seventy people to this country? Some came merely to seek a brighter future than they faced in their homelands. Some fled tyrannical regimes which threatened to take their liberty, or even their lives. Others came seeking adventure, with romantic views of Australia as the last frontier. In return, Australia has gained untold wealth from them, and a multitude like them. They have introduced a wide spectrum of ideas, attitudes, lifestyles and experiences which have profoundly impacted on the nation's psyche. I hope that I have been able to convey some of these sentiments in the seventy profiles. I am grateful for the support provided by Kodak Australia which has been constant from the original concept to the finished product.

Michael Coyne
Melbourne, 1992
A World Of Australians
ISBN: 186355033X
$ 45.00

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