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“‘More fun than the locals’: Cultural Differences and Natural Resources”

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In the latter half of the 1990s there was a long-running but unreported conflict over use of a coastal rock platform on the Central Coast of New South Wales, just to the north of Sydney. This multifaceted dispute was between poor Korean Australians from the inner suburbs of Sydney and locals. The source of this conflict was the manner in which the rock platform was being used, how its resources were exploited and the type of social life that accompanied these activities. Different peoples brought different understandings to the rock platform, and they acted in accordance with those understandings.For many older settler Australians, and for the diminishing number of those ‘on the land’, the essence of what it is to be Australian is found outside of urban environments. Colloquially referred to as ‘the bush’, this can mean virtually any rural, remote, regional, or non-urban setting. For those living in cities, and for more recent immigrants to Australia, national parks are one site that provides ready access to ‘the bush’. As with the coastal rock platform, different peoples bring different understandings to their encounters with national parks and ‘the bush’, and their use of these places changes accordingly.This paper begins with a description of the rock platform incident, before moving on to discuss the response of different immigrant groups to national parks and other open public spaces.

Affiliations: 1: University of Tasmania ORCID Id: 0000-0003-4198-3711


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