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An Important Message for Australian Entrepreneurs (WordLove included)

October 16th, 2013 | 7 comments

Dear amazingly-authentic Australian entrepreneurs,

You’re an Australian, right? And as such, you serve a predominantly Australian clientele (with a splash of International  darlings, maybe more).  Let me first acknowledge your great work + let it be known that I’m proud of you (you gorgeously-tall-poppy you).

Honestly, that latest thing you just made/did /put out there– well, it’s going straight to the pool room.

See I’m a little scared to tell you this, but frankly needs to be said. And again, I am fully included in this plea.

“Please STOP sounding like an American. Please reclaim your Australian Voice.”

This goes for your online communication, as well as your off-line chatter.

Have you forgotten John Farnham’s simply expressed, rather eloquent (especially when sung loudly or drunk) cry?

“You’re the voice, try and understand it.”

You see, I’m scared, that we are in danger of losing our voice, losing our magic + not valuing who we are + where we came from.

I believe stories are important. And I believe the words you use to express who you are + what you offer must sound like you.

Yesterday, while writing for an American client, I realised how “freakin’” easy it was. It was so effortless to tune into that grand, kinda pervasive American twang that’s colonised my brain for the last 30 or so years. After watching endless hours of Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, True Blood (this year alone) on top of a childhood spent watching Full House + The Cosby Show, teenage years watching BH 90210, Friends, The OC.  OK, I’ll stop there. Because I’m starting to feel like I’ve wasted a lot of my time in front of box, rather than fulfilling my potential. Or something.

You know what? If you’ve forgotten your Australian voice, it’s not your fault.

I remember being reprimanded by our school principal when, as grade twos, we put on a play + (shock horror) spoke in American voices.  We actually missed out on play-time, that day. At seven, I was disturbed by the injustice of it all. Punish kids for acting out the only world they know: TV

Now that I’m 30+ (God I hate adding the +), I know I can’t change the past. But I can certainly change the future. Not only mine, but that of my peers. I’m only just discovering what it means to be an Australian. What it sounds like. And we’re not all bogans. We’re not even Upper Middle Bogans. True, there’s a little bit of bogan in all of us.  And that’s what holds us back.

I believe we’re too afraid to ask the question: What does the Australian Voice sound like? Does it sound terrible? Is it kind of embarrassing + something to be mocked?

Well I’m not afraid. And I want you to join me.

As Johnny  Farnham  reminds us….

“We have the chance to turn the pages over
We can write what we want to write”

Rise up Australian entrepreneurs. You’re communicating the voice of Australia to a global audience. Thanks to the wonders of the internet.

Please don’t adopt another culture’s voice just because it sounds better. Or because it seems more powerful.

You’ve got something to say + only you can say it. So choose your words + don’t give your power away.

Take it away, Johnny:

“This time, we know we all can stand together

With the power to be powerful

Believing we can make it better.”

Big (Aussie) Word Love to you. And just for fun, share your favourite Australian phrase in the comments below. You’ll help me feel that I’m not alone (with Johnny) on this one.

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7 people have commented
  1. Ellissa says:

    I spent 6 years overseas Kate – and in times of homesickness ‘You’re the Voice’ became my anthem (I was never a John Farnham fan before leaving Australia – weird!). My fav Aussie saying is ‘No worries’ – I think it sums up the culture pretty well!

  2. Nicole Rowan Holt says:


  3. Chrissie says:

    Well said, Kate

    Bloody good on ya, mate.

    I hate (with a little h) that some people feel the need to slip into using the Americanised (note that’s n “s” not a zee) version of our beautiful language – stand up and be proud of our wide brown land.

    I even posted a disclaimer saying that I would not be posting words such as color etc on any of my posts, on my website.

  4. One I discovered living overseas – “pash”. I’m proud to say I spread the word love and enlightened many (as to the superiority of the word, rather than pash in the sense of a verb, unfortunately) x

  5. Colleen says:

    I love what you have said here, you are not alone….I’m with you all the way!!!

  6. Maggie Reyes says:

    As an American, I LOVE THIS! I love authentic voices – wherever they are from and whatever they sound like. I love looking up words I don’t know to learn the slang of somewhere else. I love the accents of different countries and imagining beautiful voices in those accents when I am reading.

    I also love that we grew up watching (mostly) the same TV shows!

    We have so many points of connection, we can let our distinctions flourish and fly and make us all unique and interesting.

    • Kate Erlenbusch says:

      Oh thanks Maggie! I’m so thrilled when my point of view is understood + appreciated. We share so much pop culture, don’t we. So glad you enjoyed the post.

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