This is Australia by Ian Mudie

“”Ian Mudie (1911-1976) proved the most strident champion of the cultural line taken by Australia-First and the Jindies”


THIS is Australia, this is the wide continent

that holds the gate of the world for men and warmth

against icy immensities of emptiness

– cold light and great darkness – of the southern seas.


This is Australia, this is the new-old land

where conflict breeds, where even now (as always

since de Quiros gilded its image in men’s thoughts)

man has his choice to make between the high

banner-flame of allegiance to his land

and the shop-sign of rabbit-burrowing blindness

that gnaws at roots, and, plague-like, kills

all that will never fill his purse nor stretch his bellyskin.


This is Australia, this is each one’s earth

that is Australian, this soil is sacred

now and forever for each one for whom

the vision of this land resurgent ever stirs

in every landscape, for each one that sees

in every town and township, every house

and paddock, every street and track

each patch of untouched bush, each wasted acre

that the greed of sheep or wheat or axe

has furrowed and scarred and swept

and ploughed to barrenness, for each that sees

as his own body and as mighty all this land.


This is Australia, not even the close slums

which greed, transplanting with itself – and them –

from colder earths the huddling timid minds

of driven sheep, has set like cankerous disease

close to each city’s heart, can stint or limit

the wide magnificence of this land’s vision,

that men – slum-minded all, in city or in vastness –

seek in their living death of mind to cramp and set

in pocket-handkerchief-size dreams of northern lands,

each one afraid, knowing himself too small

to see as one, forever unified and great,

this mighty land that seeks its dedicated sons.


This is Australia, each tree and bush, each hill,

each mountain, each vast plain where dust-storms

ride the ancient beds of ancient seas,

each headland set to face the surf,

each creek, long dry, that thunders when the rains

break their all-feeding benediction on the earth,

each rock that carving bears or tribal myth explains,

each billabong the heron’s grey reflection shows,

each jungle-patch along the north-east shores,

each valley and each gully where the euro runs,

each foot of earth, each stick, each grain of dust,

makes, and is ever part of, each Australian.


This is Australia, this is the land

whose sons and daughters are forever blind

and deaf to all its mystery; this is the land

barren of lovers; this is the land defiled

by those who flesh is quarried from its earth;

this is the land whose sons and daughters turn

their faces from it, holding always

vain dreams in their small minds of their own greatness

greater then it; this is the land whose children

fear it, being so small and petty-mean

that never in their hearts is courage great enough

for them to love its beauty and immensity.


This is Australia. This is the land

now raising new spirit of its earth;

this is the land that now a few do love

fiercely and fearlessly; this is the land

than now has found a few to call

its vision from the cupboard of neglect

and set it up for every man to see.

This is the land preparing for those sons

who shall acknowledge their full fellowship

with every fistful of its soil, sons who shall hold

that soil as their own flesh, sons who shall be

fanatic and consecrated in their loyalty.


Nativist Herald