Last week, Tourism Australia launched their latest campaign to entice people from ‘round the globe to choose the great Down Under as their next holiday destination. And boy, has that advertising team been copping some rock-solid flak.

The campaign is called ‘Come live our philAUSophy’, which I’ll admit, isn’t the zingiest pun I’ve ever heard; I mean it sounds like something I would say. There have been many comments made about how the play on words will be lost on the international market, especially those for whom English is their second language. 

However, the concept behind the slogan, is something I can really get on board with. Rather than harping on about Australia’s most popular tourist icons, i.e The Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Uluru, The Big Potato, the campaign invites travellers to embrace the Australian lifestyle, wherever on this massive continent they may be. 

But What The Heck Is A PhilAUSophy?

Great question mate. 

The campaign focuses on nine philAUSophies that the tourism board have determined encapsulate what it means to be Austrailan:

  • Balanced lifestyle
  • No worries attitude
  • Boundless optimism
  • Mateship
  • Sense of adventure
  • Storytelling
  • The Australian flavour (?)
  • Love of nature
  • Generosity of spirit

I don’t know about you, but when I think about my life in Aus, I can definitely tick most of those metaphorical boxes. Still have unanswered questions about the Australian flavour though. 

Where The Advertising Team Cooked It

Obviously this tourism campaign doesn’t perfectly capture all sides of Australia. We know that not everything in Aus is all hunky-dory, possibly less now than ever. But it’s not the role of a tourism board to point out all of the flaws of a destination. They’re here to remind us of everything we do have to celebrate. Which they do, for the most part.

In the initial video that was launched last week, there is a serious lack of diversity that doesn’t represent the average Aussie at all. Which is not a great way to kick off a campaign about the most multicultural country in the world. But if you dig deeper, there is a glimmer of hope that the longer this campaign runs, the more faces we’ll see from the multitude of cultures that make up this great land. 

Where They Deliver The Goods

There’s a stronger emphasis on Aboriginal culture than I ever recall seeing in an Aussie tourism campaign before. At the start of the video Darren Capewell of Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures says ‘What makes this country so special? Not only does it look good, it feels better.’ The campaign does a top job of emphasising the connection to land that has been inherent to 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture and that plays a massive role in formulating the westernised Aussie lifestyle too. 

Another victory for the campaign is that it looks beyond the tokenistic landmarks and explores the beauty that can be found in every valley and peak of Aus – not just Sydney and Melbourne. Overtourism is a major issue that many countries are grappling with as travel becomes more accessible and affordable. Tourist numbers in Venice Italy, Bali Indonesia and Dubrovnik Croatia have reached unsustainable levels, that can turn a fun overseas holiday into a nightmare for both visitors and locals. 

So for this campaign to invite tourists to visit places in Aus I’ve never even heard of, from the Stockton Sand Dunes of Port Stephens to Remarkable Rocks of Kangaroo Island, is a win for tourism across the country and will hopefully ease the pressure of tourist hot spots. 

Most importantly, the campaign emphasises that it doesn’t really matter where in Aus you travel, it’s the people that make the experience, not just the place. Unlike many previous campaigns, ‘Come live our philAUSophy’ involves local people, from every state and territory, who live the regular Aussie lifestyle everyday, rather than relying on a heavily star-studded line up of internationally recognised celebrities to sell the Australian dream. 

As for my biggest philAUSophical take away from the campaign;

‘You always feel better once you’ve been in the salt water. You never regret a surf.’ – Brenda Miley, Go Surfing. 

Truer words have never been spoken. 


Feature photo by @patcorden

The Wonder Down Under

The Best Of The West // Mt Murchison (TAS)

From Kalbarri To The Kimberley – How To Drive Through North West Australia

Paradise, Lost // Lizard Island (QLD)

Carpenter Rocks // Limestone Coast (SA)