Embodied by Ignorance: Australia’s Reality Check

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With its resource curse and self-perception as a “lifestyle superpower,” Australia finds it hard to adapt, preventing them from taking advantage of fresh concepts.

Every nation has a story to share with the global community, crafted from its production output, natural landscapes, and cultural identity.

Australia has had a relatively straightforward story—harvesting natural resources and exporting them overseas, followed by gathering for beach barbeques.

Despite overlooking much of Australia’s inclusivity and urbanity, this is an image that the country has embraced. Or rather, one which it has never attempted to redefine or alter.

The complacency of the country is attributed to two structural issues. First is Australia’s own specific resource curse—an observation that countries with abundant natural resources tend to have poor financial growth and development results, weak administrative systems, corruption and more.

Boasting bountiful natural resources, Australia has achieved copious wealth yet done little else to improve its overall economy. Such complacency is concerning, given the forecasted decline in coal and gas production. In other words, with limited economic diversity, Australia faces a significant challenge as we advance.

When asked about his say on the matter, the Chairman of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Michele O’Neil, commented: “Australia is standing on a pile of finite resources. We must consider how we use this wealth and what kind of society we want to create.”

This brings us to the other structural issue – Australia’s self-perception of being a “lifestyle superpower”. In the past, this has allowed the country to ignore pressing topics such as climate change, diversity and inclusion.

However, with the world rapidly changing and technology disrupting industries, Australia is now finding itself behind the curve in innovation. This lack of intellectual curiosity or openness to new concepts has prevented them from taking advantage of the opportunities surrounding their nation.

The reality is that Australia needs to realise the limits of its current approach and shift towards embracing new ideas, innovation, and diversity to thrive effectively in the future. Ultimately, it’s up to us citizens to ensure our leaders take this much-needed change seriously.

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