The people of Frankston, Victoria, deserve full marks for enterprise. But they’ve damaged their bogan credentials by becoming the latest mulletted suburb to jump on the I-Heart-New York-style merchandising bandwagon, with the suburb’s GDP ballooning to several thousand dollars with the sale of I Love Frankston t-shirts, stubbie holders and prophylactics.
The Herald-Sun chronicled the marketing push last week, with residents of “Franga”, “Franghanistan” and “Funky Town” as Frankston is also known hailing the move as a sign their city was on the improve.
It’s the kind of upwardy-mobile stuff which appalls committed westies such as bricklayer Todd Farrawell, from St Marys in Sydney’s West, who went public last month to bemoan the aspirationists who were getting all giggly about the “new buzz” out west.
Mr Farrawell told The Sunday Telegraph that he feared metrosexual culture was invading the western suburbs.
“You see a few more blokes with their pants looking a bit too expensive and a bit too tight, and a few too many wearing pink shirts and drinking lattes when they should be having a beer,’’ he said. “They need to man up.’‘
As much as it would pain Frankston’s bogan purists, in the key areas of crime, fashion, culinary options and job opportunities, the suburb isn’t really in the hunt when it comes to Australia’s top 10.
The Punch has corralled its contributors, many of whom hail proudly from the wrong side of the tracks, to pencil the following shortlist – which is obviously open to challenge. In no particular order our top 10 bogan suburbs are:
Albion Park NSW, Dandenong Vic, Kambah ACT, Redcliffe Qld, Wyoming NSW, Salisbury SA, Chigwell Tas, Ipswich Qld, Rockingham WA, Moe Vic.
Some of these suburbs qualify automatically – Moe because it’s given us the acronym Moccasins on Everybody, Ipswich because it’s the home of Pawle-ine, Chigwell, from the small triangular continent of Tasmania, because it’s given us the term Chigger – which Leo Shanahan explains below in his piece on bogan etymology – and Rockingham because it gives half the Western Australian Police Force something to do every night.
We also threw Salisbury in, because any suburb which was briefly home to Barnesy, members of AC-DC, David Hicks, the Central Districts Football Club Cheer Squad and the Snowton killers is clearly a special place.
Before he became a faux Jewish intellectual, journalist and poet Joe Hildebrand spent his formative years in Dandenong.
“My hometown of Dandenong is a suburb streets ahead of anywhere else in Australia, particularly in the hotly contested fields of street crime and youth unemployment,” Joe recalls. “I remember well its working class roots and its blossoming from a place where typical white Aussie kids sat around in the 7-Eleven car park shot-gunning tinnies, into a place where people of all ethnicities and cultures sat around in the 7-Eleven car park shotgunning tinnies. People often say disparaging things about Dandenong; that they would rather hack out their own eyes with a rusty fork than ever look upon it again _ but I know that’s only partly true.”
Punch writer and former long-standing Canberra resident Leo Shanahan says the national’s capital is wrongly regarded as a haven of bourgeois public servants. “It’s basically suburban sprawl, and with suburbs come booners,” Shanahan says, using the beloved Canberra term for bogan which he explains below.
“Canberra’s sprawling suburbs are so huge that they are split into several regions of suburbs, Woden, Belconnen (Belco) and Tuggeranong (Tuggers) and therefore, like any suburban mass, become booner/bogan territory,” he writes.
“Tuggers and Belconnen Belco are by far the best contenders with large clusters of booner suburbs. Before I hear complaints I am aware that Queanbeyan would win in a count back but is disqualified on the technicality that it is in NSW not the ACT. So the final best bogan/booner suburb in Canberra is: Kambah (in Tuggers). Quite a charming suburb where I spent large parts of my youth getting pissed in parks, but given the number of v8 Falcolns on the nature strip, wandering terrier dogs and the enormous size of the local Burns Club and indoor cricket centre it is Canberra’s booner capital.”
Brisvegas girl Sam Strutt says any bogan analysis of Queensland automatically points towards Logan or Ipswich, ignoring her birthplace of Redcliffe, where the shopping centre rises like majestically like a pair of knockers on the horizon.
“Redcliffe, where the local shopping centre is an architectural marvel resembling giant boobs pointing skywards,” Strutt writes. “Redcliffe, where they once paved the main street of this paradise and put up a toilet block.Yes, there may now be some posh parts of the Peninsula, but I am proud to say “’The Cliffe’’ remains a haven to the true and faithful Boganista.”
Luke McIlveen uses his reminiscence of growing up on the NSW Central Coast childhood to reflect on how pub violence was regarded less as a social problem than a mating ritual. And if the size of letterboxes is any indicator he reckons Wyoming might be the Australian town to beat.
“We lived in a kit house perched on a hill. Dad got hold of some railway sleepers from some dodgy mate and built a three-tiered garden that was the pride of Georgia Avenue. The neighbours thought they had seen it all until he unveiled his triple-brick mailbox. Thousands of years from now, that thing will be this country’s answer to Stonehenge.”
“When you say you’re from the Central Coast people assume you grew up on the beach. Well, not exactly. We knew a few creeks between the housing developments where you could catch a skink (lizard) and a nasty rash if you took a dip on a warm summer’s day. In Wyoming, the publican’s son was the richest kid I knew. In Sydney, a schooner glass across the head is called an assault. In Wyoming it’s a mating ritual.
“But it was home and I loved it. Try getting a letterbox like that through council in Vaucluse or Toorak.”
Nice one Luke but it sounds like a Vogue Living centrespread compared to the first-hand testimony of Brett Martin, who cites Albion Park, where one of the biggest industries is the local ugg boot factory, and where the crime has even given SA a run for its money.
Albion Park’s nomination is made even more alarming by Brett’s staccato “Illawarra noir” prose stylings.
“A dormitory suburb with big blocks. Pleasant backdrop of the Great Dividing Range. Good schools. A nice hard pub and top-notch takeaway. Brutal killings. A bikie gang. The rugby league team is called the Outlaws and the dress code is based on stinking hot summers and bitterly cold winds blowing straight off the Snowies in winter. The van Krevel atrocities. Pins in the eyes of paedophile former mayor Frank Arkell. Shopkeeper David O’Hearn decapitated and his blood used to write Satanic messages on the walls.The Fourth Riech bikie gang HQ just up the road. An EPA station constantly monitoring for toxic fallout from the Port Kembla steelworks. Albion Park is bogan heaven on a stick.”Melbourne Forum Discuss all aspects of Life in Victoria on our social networking forum.