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.