We’re All Australians Now by Banjo Paterson is available as a picture book, with striking illustrations by Mark Wilson. In 1915, Banjo Paterson wrote an open letter to the troops. This letter is now known as the poem ‘We’re All Australians Now’. In the poem he encourages Australians to fight together during World War 1
‘We’re not State children any more,
We’re all Australians now’.
The language is rich and the students will enjoy learning some of the Australian slang no longer heard. ‘Hump his drum’….to carry a swag. Who would carry a swag and why? Are backpackers today ‘humping a drum’?
‘Our old world diff’rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch and Irish-bred
They’re all Australians now!’
If this is a poem about Australian soldiers why has Banjo referred to English, Scotch and Irish? So many layers to unpack in regards to our history – or use this simply as a picture book to remember those that went to war.