Ned Kelly – Villain or hero, Ned’s status is still hotly disputed. It was the image of Ned in his armour that came to be seen as the fight for justice, liberty and innocent people, no matter how flawed the hero was. This image has captured the imaginations of writers, musicians, film makers, painters and general public ever since.
Kangaroo – These fabulous marsupials are the national emblem of our great southern land. Seen on the coat of arms, on the tail of our national carrier Qantas, with boxing gloves on flags and portrayed in books, stories and TV series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, this is an animal loved by all.
Opera House – Designed by a Dane, the Sydney Opera House is one of our most loved man-made icons. It is arguably our most recognisable building and a testament to our creative and technical achievement.
Sydney Harbour Bridge – The Coat-hanger, as it is affectionately known, is in fact a living landmark that provides a tourist experience as well as being an essential line of transport for Sydneysiders. Still considered an amazing engineering feat, it spans some 500m of harbour between the Sydney CBD and North Sydney.
Qantas – The national carrier, Qantas, is the second oldest airline in the world and has the best safety record by far, giving it instant icon status. And this is before we even touch on those stirring Still call Australia home choir advertisements.
Uluru – Known for many years as Ayers Rock, the traditional owners of the land, the local Pitjantijatjara people call the rock Uluru. In 1985 the Australian Government returned its ownership to the Pitjantjatjara people. It is said to be the world’s largest monolith or single block of stone.
Koala – A marsupial (it is not a bear), the name koala is from the Aboriginal for no drink as they can survive a long time without water. While they sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day they can be aggressive and communicate with a range of grunting noises.
The Southern Cross – A guiding light for sailors on the ocean and for travellers across our great brown land, the Southern Cross has indeed become an icon to Australians. It was even sewn into the Eureka uprising flag where ordinary Australians made a stand against repressive actions of authority.
Diggers – The myth of the digger permeates our national identity. The term is linked to the concept of egalitarian mateship and was first used in a military context in WW1 when Australian and New Zealand troops began using it on the Western Front in 1916 or 1917.
Gum tree – The most dominant tree species in Australia, the gum tree is the most fragrant of icons. Hardy and tough, it is a symbol of Australia, showing superb adaptation to a wide range of climates and conditions.