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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
brand australia 8 A PLACE WHERE EAST AND WEST CONVERGE, AUSTRALIA IS UNIQUELY POISED TO DEAL WITH GLOBAL ISSUES. BY SIMON ANHOLT I rst wrote about an idea I called 'nation brand' in 1996, and obser ved that the reputations of countries behave like the brand images of companies and products: they are equally critical to the progress and prosperity of those places in our globalised, in nitely connected world. Most of us don't know a great deal about most other countries, yet our a itudes and our behaviour towards those countries are all-important: if we like the idea of the country, we are more likely to buy its products, go there as tourists or students or investors, engage with its culture, respect the decisions of its government, and take its side when sides are taken. is is why responsible governments today must understand and monitor their national image, and endeavour to hand that precious asset to their successors in at least as good condition as they received it. Australia has a great image, partly because it has been so well marketed as a tourist destination, Olympic host, lm location, and as the producer of a ractive products and ser vices. Yet according to my sur vey, the Anholt-Gf K Roper Nation Brands Index , Australia is admired more as a country than as a nation. Its natural assets and culture are highly rated, but notions of its people are hazy, out-of-date, trivialised, and occasionally more critical than they deser ve to be. Basically, it's still Crocodile Dundee. Australia is seen as decorative but not useful. It's a place you might escape to from the modern world, but not where you would expect to nd leadership for that world. Many countries would give a great deal for such a positive citizen-image, but Australia needs and deser ves a be er reputation. It may indeed be quirky and picturesque, but it is also standing on the cusp of considerable geopolitical, economic, cultural and social importance. One only has to sketch out the principal economic, political and cultural fault-lines of the modern world to see how many of them converge on Australia. Australia is profoundly implicated in the causes, the consequences and the solutions to climate change, to ethnic and religious discord, to the global economic crisis. It straddles the shi of power and in uence that de nes our age, from West to East. Australia, uniquely, brings the history of the former to the geography of the la er. With the competence and in uence of a prosperous, democratic, English-speaking knowledge economy but li le of the baggage of the great powers, Australia wields a precious combination of in uence and credibility. Desiring a be er reputation will not make a be er country, but making a be er country will create a be er reputation. If Australia wants to be internationally admired, it must be internationally relevant, and this can only come from participating productively and imaginatively in the global 'conversations' that ma er to people everywhere. ere are many of these conversations, from climate change to education via poverty reduction, indigenous rights and terrorism, and it's not hard for Australia A country Australia, the magazine is published on behalf of the Australian Government by Big Splash Media. Copyright Big Splash Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed are those of writers and not necessarily those of the publisher or the Australian Government. Information provided believed correct at the time of going to press. Big Splash Media PO Box 263, Potts Point NSW 1335, Australia +61 2 9299 8699 www.bigsplashmedia.com.au TRANSLATIONS SBS in language Publisher/editor-in-chief Peter Lynch Editor Julietta Jameson Art director Kerry Alice Picture editor/editorial co-ordinator Melissa Pearce Sub-editors Lachlan Colquhoun Therese Hall Sales director David Brown Building Brand Australia Group Manager Theresa Fairman/ Freya Campbell Project Manager Caroline Bergman Account Executive, production Monica Ulibari Studio Manager Nadia Doumani COVER IMAGE: Samantha Harris, 19, is an indigenous Australian who is at the beginning of an international modelling career. Photography by Nicole Bentley for Work Agency. Photo courtesy of Vogue Australia. AUSTRALIA the magazine Austrade Level 23 AON Tower 201 Kent St, Sydney NSW, 2000, Australia +61 2 9390 2000 www.austrade.gov.au Australia wields a precious combination of influence and credibility.