“Nearby sits an Aborigine, dressed up and decorated with what was once a unique heritage but has now degenerated into its own exotic form of kitsch, playing his sonorous didgeridoo.” (Hertmans 2001; p.17)
If you take a stroll around some of the shops located around the major tourist drawcards in Sydney it becomes apparent that there are very few representations of Sydney available to the tourist. Instead of images of Sydney, souvenirs developed for the tourist market focus on images of Australia – kangaroos, koalas, boomerangs and views of the rugged exotic harsh outback. For the more discerning tourist looking to take home something more evocative of Australia than a mass produced imported kitsch item then there are a number of places such as Object Gallery Shop in the Rocks that sell the work of Australian designers and craft practitioners. Queensland also has the Memento Award aimed at rewarding good design in the tourist market and Australia boasts a diverse array of unique qualities that have inspired designers. Whilst these objects showcase a sense of style and are sophisticated items, it is noticeable that the objects tend to focus on representing Australia rather than Sydney as a city. Considering that many tourists may only experience Sydney and not Australia and that Sydney as a city boasts many interesting qualities of its own, attention perhaps should be paid to Sydney itself and representing it beyond the confines of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.