Australian beachscape: The pluralilty of an iconic site
journal contributionposted on 27.02.2018, 00:00 by Elizabeth Ellison, L Hawkes
The Australian beach is frequently positioned as an integral component of international tourist campaigns as well as the featured exotic location of exported television shows such as Home and Away (1988—) and Bondi Rescue (2006—). The idea of ‘one’ iconic beach that fits and covers all desires is promoted by these representative monolithic images. The beach has come to stand in for the desirability of Australia at large. Kathryn James goes as far as to suggest that the Australian beach and coast have ‘displaced the Outback or the bush as a stock image or theme’ (James 2000, p. 12). However, this stock image often neglects the diversity and multiplicity of the beach as a site. There are many different beaches in Australia and even on the one beach there is a combination of different spaces. This article addresses the plurality of the beach and drawing on Soja’s concept of Thirdspace (1996) and Doreen Massey’s ‘simultaneity of stories so far’ (2005, p. 5) puts forward the term beachspace to account for this complex, dynamic, changing and plural site.