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y separately published work icon Walkabout periodical  
Date: 1974
Date: 1972-1973
Date: 1969-1971
Date: 1962-1969
Date: 1960-1961
Date: 1958-1959
Date: 1934-1957
Issue Details: First known date: 1934... 1934 Walkabout
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The Australian National Travel Association was established in 1929 to promote Australia as a travel destination. Partly funded by the federal government, its board represented the interests of the railways, shipping and hotels set to benefit from an increase in tourism. To support this promotion, a monthly magazine was established. The first issue of Walkabout appeared in November 1934.

Edited by Charles Holmes for many years, the magazine sought to tell the story of 'the romantic Australia that exists beyond the cities'. The subsequent success of the magazine ensured that the stories and images it published bolstered a romantic idea of Australia in the popular imagination. Walkabout published a variety of genres, including geographical articles, travel stories, historical essays and studies of flora and fauna. The portrayal of Aborigines, while sympathetic, was sometimes patronising and often served to reinforce 'primitive' stereotypes.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Walkabout published many articles by regional writers such as Henrietta Drake Brockman, Mary Durack, Henry G. Lamond and W. E. Harney (qq.v.). Other contributors included Ernestine Hill, H. D. Williamson, Alan Marshall, Eleanor Dark and Rex Ingamells (qq.v.). By the late 1950s, Walkabout began to explore urban areas and cultural topics, following Robin Boyd's 1959 article 'Australia and the Arts'. During the 1960s and early 1970s, many Australian writers, artists and entertainers were featured and contributions were received from established writers such as Gavin Casey, D'Arcy Niland), Oodgeroo, Dal Stivens, Ruth Park and George Johnston (qq.v.). The pseudonymous 'Scrutarius' (q.v.) contributed more than one hundred book reviews between 1953 and 1971, commenting on novels, poetry, autobiography, biography and cultural history.

Walkabout ceased production in July 1974, following proposed reforms in the new Australian Tourist Commission.

Notes

  • FREQUENCY: Monthly
  • SIZE: 31cm
  • RANGE: Vol. 1, no. 1 Nov. 1934 - June/July 1974

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Travelling Home, Walkabout Magazine and Mid-twentieth-century Australia Mitchell Rolls , Anna Johnston , London : Anthem Press , 2016 11164573 2016 multi chapter work criticism

'Walkabout magazine was one of the most influential and innovative Australian magazines across much of the twentieth century and it is long overdue for an extended, appreciative study of its internal and external dynamics. Mitchell Rolls and Anna Johnston provide the significant and innovative study the magazine deserves drawing attention to its complex engagement with the natural environment and the land as resource, with history and heritage, with Aboriginal and Pacific Island cultures.' —David Carter, Fellow at Australian Academy of the Humanities

''Travelling Home' provides a detailed analysis of the contribution that the mid twentieth-century 'Walkabout' magazine made to Australia’s cultural history. Spanning five central decades of the twentieth century (1934-1974), 'Walkabout' was integral to Australia’s sense of itself as a nation. By advocating travel—both vicarious and actual—'Walkabout' encouraged settler Australians to broaden their image of the nation and its place in the Pacific region. In this way, 'Walkabout' explicitly aimed to make its readers feel at home in their country, as well as including a diverse picture of Aboriginal and Pacific cultures. Like National Geographic in the United States, Walkabout presented a cornucopia of images and information that was accessible to a broad readership.

'Given its wide availability and distribution, together with its accessible and entertaining content, 'Walkabout' changed how Australia was perceived, and the magazine is recalled with nostalgic fondness by most if not all of its former readers. Many urban readers learnt about Indigenous peoples and cultures through the many articles on these topics, and although these representations now seem dated and at times discriminatory, they provide a lens through which to see how contemporary attitudes about race and difference were defined and negotiated.

'Drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship, 'Travelling Home' engages with key questions in literary, cultural, and Australian studies about national identity and modernity. The book’s diverse topics demonstrate how 'Walkabout' canvassed subtle and shifting fields of representation. Grounded in the archival history of the magazine’s production, the book addresses questions key to Australian cultural history. These include an investigation of middle-brow print culture and the writers who contributed to Walkabout, and the role of 'Walkabout' in presenting diverse and often conflicting information about Indigenous and other non-white cultures. Other chapters examine how popular natural history enabled scientists and readers alike to define an unique Australian landscape, and to debate how a modernising nation could preserve its bush while advocating industrial and agricultural development. While the nation is central to 'Walkabout' magazine’s imagined world, Australia is always understood to be part of the Pacific region in complex ways that included neo-colonialism, and Pacific content was prominent in the magazine. Through complex and nuanced readings of Australian literary and cultural history, 'Travelling Home' reveals how vernacular understandings of key issues in Australia’s cultural history were developed and debated in this accessible and entertaining magazine.' (Publication summary)

Reading Walkabout in Osaka : Travel, Mobility, and Place-making Anna Johnston , 2016 single work prose
— Appears in: PAN , no. 12 2016;
'Travelling by nostalgically hyper-modern monorail, I arrived at Suita in Osaka in search of Australian modernity. The Expo 1970 site is now a commemorative park, dotted with concrete infrastructure and brutalist architecture amongst gardens filled with autumnal colour, or spring sakura, depending on season. Its entrance is marked by an enormous two armed primitivist sculpture-The Tower of the Sun (1970) by Taro Okamoto-that looms 70 metres above the viewer, with three faces whose light-up eyes prove a disconcerting sight for night-time arrivals. The Osaka Commemorative Park is also home to the National Museum of Ethnology (known as Minpaku), which houses an extraordinary collection of ethnological artefacts from around the world and a well-stocked anthropology library.' (Publication abstract)
A "Grim and Fascinating" Land of Opportunity : The Walkabout Women and Australia Robyn Greaves , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 5 2014;

'The "story of a journey ... a picture of the country ... a record ...,": Henrietta Drake-Brockman saw herself giving fellow Australians through her contributions to Walkabout magazine during the twentieth century. Along with Drake-Brockman several other well-known Australian female authors made regular contributions to Walkabout; including Ernestine Hill, Mary Durack and Patsy Adam-Smith. They wrote about their firsthand experiences of often remote parts of Australia, describing the landscape, the people who dwelt in it and their achievements for the edification of the largely urban readership of this popular magazine. These women wrote with enthusiasm and curiosity about the country in which they had been born. Still a young nation forming and forging an identity in the face of harsh beginnings and catastrophic world events, Australia in the mid 1900s was no longer a convict or pioneer nation, but what was it? This paper discusses representations of country in the articles of two of the female contributors to Walkabout magazine: Ernestine Hill and Henrietta Drake-Brockman. These writers saw Australia as both "grim and fascinating"; a vast land of opportunity to be "possessed" and made "productive" to the economic advantage of its inhabitants. As such they provide an intriguing insight into the development of the nation, and contributed to processes of inscription during the period of Walkabout's run (1934 - 1974).' (Publication summary)

Finding Fault : Aborigines, Anthropologists, Popular Writers and Walkabout. Mitchell Rolls , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Cultural History , vol. 28 no. 2/3 2010; (p. 179-200)
'The popular middlebrow magazine Walkabout was published between 1934 and 1974. Its principle aim was to promote travel to and within Australia and to educate Australians about their continent. It aspired to be an Australian geographic magazine, and to this end it focussed on inland and remote Australia, and natural history. For this reason, and because it was published throughout a period, particularly in the early decades, when only those Aborigines living afar from populated regions were recognised as Aborigines, many of Walkabout's articles were about Aborigines or, more commonly, made mention of them. There are very few critiques of Walkabout, but those that do exist are critical of its portrayal of Aborigines. Notwithstanding that there are many reasons to find fault, it is possible to read this material in a more salutary light, even against the apparent intention of at least one of the contributors, Ernestine Hill. This article considers the work of a number of popular writers and two of the anthropologists who contributed to Walkabout, and finds reason to be less critical and more cautious in our assessment of their narrative representation of Aborigines than is generally allowed. The period of analysis is from 1934 to 1950.' (Editor's abstract)
Reading 'Walkabout' in the 1930s Mitchell Rolls , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , vol. 2 no. 2010;
'The Australian magazine Walkabout, loosely modelled on National Geographic, was published between 1934 and 1974, with a concluding single edition being issued in January 1978. Unlike National Geographic, the very middlebrow Walkabout has attracted little critical scrutiny. The few responses to Walkabout have predominantly criticised its role in fomenting a specific version of the settlement myth, in particular that of promoting white progress and modernisation of the outback against a projected Aboriginal absence. Leaving aside its representation of Aborigines (this matter is dealt with in a forthcoming essay) this paper argues that at least in the first decade of Walkabout's long run, its warmth for and promotion of Australia, particularly the interior and remote regions, is distinctive when contrasted with the nationalist fervour of other contemporary movements, and that ideologically-bound criticism overlooks the more nuanced forms of settler belonging the magazine facilitated.' (Author's abstract)
Whiteman's Walkabout M. E. McGuire , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 52 no. 3 1993; (p. 517-525)
Ernestine Hill and Walkabout Malcolm M. Campbell , 1966 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Walkabout , vol. 32 no. 3 1966; (p. 5)
It Only Seems the Other Day Henry G. Lamond , 1959 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Walkabout , vol. 25 no. 11 1959; (p. 13)
A letter to the editor, paying tribute to the journal's quarter-century of successful publishing.
Picture Imperfect : Re-Reading Imagery of Aborigines in Walkabout Mitchell Rolls , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , March vol. 33 no. 1 2009; (p. 19 - 35)
'The representation of Aborigines in the popular Australian magazine Walkabout has attracted the attention of a small number of scholars. For the most part their analyses draw a distinction between the portrayals of primitive natives and those of the emergent modernising Australian nation. It is argued that Aborigines appear as debased, as noble savages, or as bearers of an idealised and imagined traditional culture. These representational strategies are evident in both photographs and text in Walkabout. Whilst not necessarily disagreeing with these critiques, more nuanced readings of Aboriginal photographic representation in Walkabout are possible. This article seeks to reveal the potential for a more diverse and complex understanding of the images appearing throughout the 1930s.' (Publisher's abstract)
Reading 'Walkabout' in the 1930s Mitchell Rolls , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , vol. 2 no. 2010;
'The Australian magazine Walkabout, loosely modelled on National Geographic, was published between 1934 and 1974, with a concluding single edition being issued in January 1978. Unlike National Geographic, the very middlebrow Walkabout has attracted little critical scrutiny. The few responses to Walkabout have predominantly criticised its role in fomenting a specific version of the settlement myth, in particular that of promoting white progress and modernisation of the outback against a projected Aboriginal absence. Leaving aside its representation of Aborigines (this matter is dealt with in a forthcoming essay) this paper argues that at least in the first decade of Walkabout's long run, its warmth for and promotion of Australia, particularly the interior and remote regions, is distinctive when contrasted with the nationalist fervour of other contemporary movements, and that ideologically-bound criticism overlooks the more nuanced forms of settler belonging the magazine facilitated.' (Author's abstract)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

ISSN: 0043-0064
Last amended 6 Apr 2017 13:37:10
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