Good heavens: there are 800 000 Australian citizens living abroad! That’s five percent of the population. We’re the Australian diaspora! I belong to a community! With a mailing list! And my community actually fought for me to be able to be a dual citizen (if Norway would only go along with it) without my even knowing! I’m so used to being neither this nor that that I’m a bit shocked at this sudden new identity option. But hey, “our collective identity” is being strengthened by “e-mail and internet” which “increasingly link overseas Australians to each other and to Australians at home.”

Yup. Though decreasing phone costs are at least as important. When I was a kid phoning home was so expensive we could only talk to our grandparents at Christmas time, and we hated it, absolutely hated the embarrassment of speaking for two minutes a year to people we loved and remembered and missed but whose voices we had forgotten. When I was back in Perth in 1990 it cost $1.80 (Australian; about one US dollar) a minute to ring Norway, and 18 kroner a minute for my family in Norway to ring me. Now it’s 45 øre a minute, that’s 9 Australian cents or 6 US cents. I can talk for an hour for the cost of a latte, an hour and a half for less than a glass of beer. Talking with a friend in Australia (or the States for that matter) is literally no more expensive than going out for a coffee. I like that.

4 thoughts on “australian diaspora

  1. Robert

    I’m so used to being neither this nor that that I’m a bit shocked at this sudden new identity option.

    That’s an interesting point. As an Irish-Australian, I think I’d find it weird if I was neither this nor that. I think a sense of community is important, and even if you are living, working and playing within a community it is gratifying to be allowed the privilege of labelling yourself as a member. “Resident” doesn’t come with the same sense of worth as “citizen”.

    On the other hand, why do we need labels to feel good about ourselves? What is the difference, really, between an Australian and a Norwegian?

  2. Jill

    I think language has something to do with the neither/nor. My name marks me as instantly foreign, here, though my accent and my skin colour fit in easily enough. But once introduced the first question is almost always “So why are you in Norway?” Of course a deeper sense of identity than labels of nationality’d be best. I’ll figure it out. Eventually.

  3. Florine

    Oh my. So there are just as many people living in Australia as there are in the Netherlands? (16 million that is.)

    I really like your blog by the way. 🙂

  4. Jill

    Well, I guess there were a bit optimistic about the five percent: there are nearly 20 million people living in Australia. The mailing list had upped the number of Australians living abroad to 860 000 but it’s still not quite five percent, is it. Perhaps 5% of Australian citizens though.

    And it’s great that you like my blog 🙂

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.

Digital Humanities Machine Vision

What do different machine vision technologies do in fiction and art?

For the Machine Vision in Everyday Life project we’ve analysed how machine vision technologies are portrayed and used in 500 works of fiction and art, including 77 digital games, 190 digital artworks and 233 movies, novels and other narratives. You can browse […]

AI and algorithmic culture Presentations

My talk on caring AIs in recent sci-fi novels

I’m giving a talk at an actual f2f academic conference today, Critical Borders, Radical Re(visions) of AI, in Cambridge. I was particularly excited to see this conference because it’s organised by the people who edited AI Narratives A History of Imaginative Thinking […]