"Team Australia": Cartoonists challenging exclusionary nationalist discourse

Catherine Austin, Farida Fozdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In the context of the "war on terror", Australian leaders announced that an increased threat of terrorist activity existed within Australia in 2014, which was generated by young people travelling to engage in military activity in the Middle East and returning "radicalised". The prime minister at the time, Tony Abbott, called on Australians to rally together, in the face of such a threat, as "Team Australia". This article analyses the responses by cartoonists to this call, focusing on the way the notion of Team Australia is portrayed as a challenge to core aspects of Australianness, such as mateship, multiculturalism and the "fair-go". Frame analysis is used to explore how the cartoons connect with the broader populace and represent, challenge, reconstruct and rely on implicit and explicit understandings of Australianness. The cartoons frame Abbott’s Team Australia as exclusionary, unfair, politically elitist, anti-multicultural and "un- Australian", even while pursuing a nationalist project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017


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