If you have a tendency to roll your eyes to the back of your skull on hearing the term “un-Australian“, brace yourself. Starting from Monday next week, you’re going to hear it a lot more. Across newspapers, radio, television and the internet, a $2 million advertising campaign funded by Clubs Australia is going to hammer in the idea that independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie’s proposed pokie machine reforms — supported by the Federal Government and a reported two-thirds of polled Australians — is un-Australian.
Still, for a campaign that hinges upon ideas of national identity, it’s almost heartening to see that Clubs Australia’s idea of Australian-ess is a broad, multicultural one. Their website might predominantly be in English, but they also provide their anti-pokies-reform message via PDFs in other languages from the homepage. Jeremy Bath, spokesperson for Clubs Australia, says they want to ensure the message is heard among all communities. “This is a campaign for all Australians,” he tells New Matilda. “We want to make sure that every Australian — whether they’re of non-English speaking background, or even, indeed, if they don’t speak English — understands the ramifications of what’s being proposed by Andrew Wilkie’s poker machine reforms.” Continue reading