Why Increasing our Intake of Refugees is exactly what 'Brand Australia' needs right now

australia's brand reputation

Australia’s Brand Reputation has been taking a beating
It’s been a pretty crap month-or-two for Brand Australia with our reputation taking a rightful whacking overseas thanks to coverage of the ‘Adam Goodes racist booing saga’ and ‘tennis bad boy’ Nick Kyrgios seemingly making a dick of himself whenever he picks up a racket, not to mention our leaders publicly dragging their heels whilst simultaneously burying their head in the sand over Greenhouse Emissions. I for one am embarrassed by my nationality and the ways it’s being portrayed oversees currently. If we were a brand (and of course we are) we would be calling Us in and urgently looking to identify what is so wrong within our organisation that we continue to make such notable off-brand clangers.

Given that we can’t sack and distance ourselves from Kyrgios, we can’t penalize and re-educate every AFL footy fan, and it seems no matter which political party we elect the story on environment is the same – what we really need is to identify an opportunity for us to make a big, bold place brand gesture on the world stage – a gesture that reflects our Australia values.As a compassionate and fair-minded nation built on a history of migration, we have a strangely conservative view towards our responsibility to take care of those who need a safe place to live. Without turning this discussion into a debate on economic Vs fear of life status or illegal Vs legal immigration, it is time for us to lead the way on immigration numbers.

As Germany announces the intake of a further 10,000 Syrian refugees, 6,000 of whom are already in the country waiting to be processed as asylum seekers, the opportunity arises for our political leaders to take the mantle, stand-up and be counted in a manner that makes us proud by significantly increasing the number of refugees we welcome. The world has thrown us an opportunity to re-frame our badly battered brand reputation – will our political leaders have the vision and courage to stand-up and be counted when we need them most?

This post reflects the personal opinions (and frustrations) of
Dave Ansett –
Creator of Brands & Truly Deeply Founder
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Header pic: REUTERS_Ahmed-Jadallah


  1. yep. We’re one of the biggest recipients of refugees per capita in the world, with one of the world’s largest proportions of foreign born citizens. and we have something to be ashamed of? Makes sense to me! Germany has one of the world’s lowest birthrate, whereas our population is increasing significantly in an already overstretched and mostly arid land. A bit of context and nuance would be good.

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