Australia is not just an island nation, Australia is a nation of islands in a neighborhood of Oceanic nations including Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and other Pacific nations too numerous to mention here.
Within Australia, travel between our cities, towns and communities involves long-distance, often over regions broader than many seas. Increasingly we travel in ships of the air and car voyages sail over freeways, deserts and fields. The cultures, environments, languages and societies in our communities vary widely. Anyone who has travelled from Melbourne to Darwin by plane will attest to the climate and culture shock, for example. Experienced remote mine workers understand, mine-site culture is akin to living on a remote island.
Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO), mobile workforces, telecommuting, freelancing and changing climates, will continue to require and encourage routine travel for many people within our nation of islands.
I believe that the National Cultural Policy must address that we are a cultural archipelago and will become more so over the coming years. We can benefit from imagining intercultural archipelago Australia as a nation of connecting nodes and vibrant creations forming in the connections and shared spaces.
High information-flow and connectivity excels at; connecting individuals, reducing information loss, reducing waste and inefficiencies in societies and groups. The NBN will enable archipelago Australia to join the dots if it is supported by a forward-looking National Cultural Policy.