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Offord, B 2009, 'Androgynous ethical intervention and living history', Coolabah, vol. 3, Observatori: Centre d’Estudis Australians, Australian Studies Centre, Universitat de Barcelona.

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©2009 Baden Offord. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.

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This paper explores how narratives of Australian belonging are formed through a quilted matrix of myth, history and memory. This is done through looking at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the beach, tracing the mythology of the Surf Life Saver, the surfer and contemporary sexual and ethnic identities. I suggest that life is lived through layers of the past, organised in formal and informal, conscious and unconscious ways, connected in asymmetrical and symmetrical fashion. The aim here is not to add to the measurable, instrumental canon of history, but to activate what Greg Denning has referred to as “living histories”, by exploring androgynous moments of belonging

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