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Cooee3 Our Identity


The first white (European) people to arrive in Australia came from England. England claimed Australia to be a colony (part) of the English Empire. For many decades the English government ruled and up till 1984 "God Save the Queen" was our National Anthem. Our flag still carries the "Union Jack" in the top left corner as acknowledgement.

In 1901 Australia became a Commonwealth (all the states agreed to have a national (federal) government. In 1912, a "coat of arms" showing the symbols of each State and our national icons became our official emblem. Click to enlarge it and discuss the icons.

In 1954 Australia changed its flag from the Union Jack  to the current flag that has a reduced Union Jack , the Southern Cross stars and a larger 7 pointed Commonwealth star for each state and territories. After 1984 Advance Australia Fair became our National Anthem

Some people feel the Australian Anthem is a bit boring. Popular Australian comedian, Adam Hills presents an interesting alternative (below).


Cooee! "I am, you are, we are all Australians". When spoken or sung this phrase captures the emotion, spirit and pride we should all share from being citizens of Australia. Let's explore our values, symbols and songs that make our identity unique to our vast continent. Our road trip takes us to Sydney; Australia's largest city and home to two of our most famous icons: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Quite often you will hear our leaders refer to Australian values. What are they? The answers are often varied and argued. So, what are the unique values that Australians cherish? Quite often you will get a list that can be applied to most societies. Here is the official Government list. We have our attempted to compose list of values that are unique to Australia. 

  • Mateship: overtime we make friendships that become like extended family and we place high regard on loyalty, trust and shared times.
  • "Fair go": We accept people as we would want them to accept us. We place great value on equality to improve oneself and helping others to achieve success.
  • Classless society: Although the reality is quite different, we aspire to a society of equals whereby one person is not considered more important or valued over others.
  • Hate and respect for Authority. Whilst valuing Laws that flow from a strong democracy, we are not "blind" followers and will energetically challenge views, policy or laws we feel are wrong.
  • Sports fanatics: It doesn't matter which sport, we passionate support a number of sports and teams. Some say sport is a national religion. We even have a day off for a horse race (Melbourne Cup)! 
  • Courage in adversity: Some refer to it as the Aussie spirit and refer to soldiers at Gallipoli. Others refer to the community courage in support against bush fires and droughts. Helping your neighbors in time of need.

What is your opinion? Can you add to the list? Watch the video below and have a conversation as a class.

Our National Anthem is sung at any Official ceremony. The Olympic Games is an example. Can list other events when the National Anthem is played?

Australia has a national day of celebration called Australia Day. It is January 26th. Ask your teacher why. In recent years there has been a lot of discussion around this annual event. Discuss as a class the issues. Teacher Resource Site.

Below is a selection of songs and videos that are often associated with Australia. Some are a comical view of ourselves.

Cooee3 Aust Day

Sheep & Wool

Cooee3 Downunder

Down Under

Cooee3 Comeon


Draw the Australian Flag

  1. Watch the video above to learn to how to use shapes to draw the Australian flag.
  2. Create a new slide in your Cooee Portfolio titled > 3: Our Identity
  3. Draw the Australian flag
  4. Add images of the Eureka and Aboriginal Flags

Cooee 3


  1. I have covered all the information in this topic.
  2. Watched all the videos.
  3. Drawn the Australian flag into Slide 3: Our Identity Portfolio page
  4. Passed the Wally Quiz



  • Australia's flag origins and changes.
  • Australia's Anthem and changes.
  • Australian values.
  • Australian Identity.


  • Digital drawing using a presentation program (Power point / Google slides).
  • Use of shapes to replicate the Australian flag.
  • Often considered an alternative national anthem, Waltzing Matilda refers to a time when Australia grew rich from sheep and wool.

    Another well known Australian song also relates to the importance of sheep. Have you heard it?

    Today, lamb (sheep) are still an important part of Australia’s economy. Each year the Meat and Livestock Australia release a promotional video. This is the video for 2017. What do you think?

  • In 1983 Australia defeated the USA in a yacht race called the America’s Cup. A popular song at the time was “We come from a land down under” by Men at Work. When Australians meet overseas this is a popular song that is sung.


  • Australians love all sports. When we compete internationally you will often see the Boxing Kangaroo flag.

    A popular song at sporting events is “Come on Aussie come on”. Cricket is a popular national sport.