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An Australian Voice

This section examines Paul Kelly’s expression of Australian experience through his songs. Students compare his interpretation of Australian life with those in other texts so that they may appreciate a range of stylistic choices and their effects on the responder.

Students address the Australian Curriculum content by

  • comparing texts in a variety of contexts, mediums and modes by
    • explaining the relationship between purpose and context
    • analysing the style and structure of texts including digital texts
  • investigating the representation of ideas, attitudes and voices in texts by
    • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences
    • evaluating the effects of rhetorical devices
    • analysing how attitude and mood is created
  • analysing and evaluating how and why responses to texts vary through
    • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented
    • analysing changing responses to texts over time and in different cultural contexts.
  • creating a range of texts by
    • using imaginative, interpretive and persuasive elements for different purposes, contexts and audiences
    • experimenting with text structures, language features and multimodal devices
    • selecting and applying appropriate textual evidence to support arguments
  • reflecting on their own and others’ texts by
    • analysing the values and attitudes expressed in texts
    • evaluating the effectiveness of texts in representing ideas, attitudes and voices
    • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers.

Often when we write about authors we frame our own expectations about the relationship between authors, texts and place. We might think that because an author writes about a social concern, a particular place or event, they create a sense of national identity. Another way to think about this is that the reader, viewer or listener layers his/her own experience on the text, sometimes a shared experience, sometimes a contrasting experience. Paul Kelly’s songs create story spaces for audiences to bring their own experiences and make their own connections, exploring their own definitions of universal ideas about love, family, social justice and identity.

The selection of songs provides a snapshot of Kelly’s interests and experiences with a view to considering the extent to which he may be said to reflect Australian life.