January 2006

What true blue really means to me

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What true blue really means to me

Sunshine Coast Daily, 26 January 2006

News source: Sunshine Coast Daily, Thursday 26 January 2006
By Peter Olszewski

BEING true blue means being a dinki di genuine Aussie, according to singer John Williamson, the man who repopularised the term with his anthemic song, Hey True Blue.

Williamson, on the Coast to entertain Australia Day visitors to Australia Zoo today, said true blue is about being a lot of things, like fair, tolerant and considerate to your neighbours – but what it's not about is race and religion.

“The important thing to emphasise immediately is that it is an Australian concept that has absolutely nothing to do with race and religion,” he said.

“But it's about so many things that we all know are deeply Australian. Things like your word being your bind, and a handshake deal being a real deal. Being true blue is what all fair dinkum good people aspire to, but in many ways it has almost become an old-fashioned term these days.”

The singer, whose song True Blue became an Australian mega-seller, also said that no Australian can be true blue unless they have some affinity with or experience of the bush.

“To be really Australian you can't spend all your life in Darlinghurst. You have to get to know the country and you'll never get to be true blue if you've never had a relationship with nature and the bush.”

Williamson also said, tongue slightly in cheek, that having seen Uluru close also helps in becoming true blue. “But the most important thing about being true blue is being fair, and Australia is a very fair country despite all the crap about the Muslim and Christian thing.”

The singer has caught the spirit of conciliation that's sweeping Australia and said we could become more true blue if we listened and learned about our ancient land by relating to indigeous people. “We've got mobs of people who have been here for 40,000 years and there's a lot we can learn from them about what's really true blue about our land.”

The Coast's current world ironwoman champion, Kristy Munroe, doesn't reckon a love of the bush is necessarily true blue.

She reckons to be really true blue these days you've got to love the coast.

“I have lived here on the Coast all my life so to me being a true blue Australian is about being close to the beach,” she said.

“I think the outdoor way of life and the spirit of surf lifesaving is what being truly Australian all is about.”