Of Mates

The typical Australian had no respect whatever for the possessor of money as such. The whole tendency of his individualism had been to protect the weaker member. While the sympathy of the American was usually for the strong, that of the Australian was for those who lacked advantage.

He was seldom religious in the sense in which the word is generally used. So far as he held a prevailing creed, it was a romantic one inherited from the gold-miner and the bushman, of which the chief article was that a man should at all times and at any cost stand by his mate. This was and is the one law which the good Australian must never break. It is bred in the child and stays with him through life.

– excerpt from The Official History of Australian in the War 1914-1918 by C.E.W. Bean


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