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DRINKING CULTURE There are a few different aspects to this image. The first is the pub in the centre. This is the Mitre Tavern and is located in Bank Place off Collins Street. The Mitre Tavern is Melbourne’s oldest standing building (Chapman & Stillman, 2005). The building is designed to resemble an old English pub. It is rendered in a sand colour and is two stories high. The windows are winged by fake wooden shutters and old wooden beer barrels are being used as tables. Another aspect of this image is that it includes four men in business suits drinking at on of the wooden barrels. This is a social gathering which illustrates the pub or drinking culture of Melbourne. Public Relations seek to manage image in society. In this circumstance, a public relations perspective can be employed to assess the effects drinking culture can have on the city as an entity. In terms of strategies, PR highlights the notion that Melbourne has an excessive drinking culture that must be tackled. This is due to health concerns for citizens and the perceptibly worrying increase in alcohol fuelled violence. Warning of the potential health implications of alcohol consumption could be perceived as a strategy (Room, 1988). The government, social welfare groups and medical professionals highlight the dangers of alcohol use as a tactic to attempt to control Melbourne’s drinking culture. Strategies employed by groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and liquor licensing laws (Stark & Fyfe 2009). In Melbourne, it has been established through the media that the city has an issue regarding drinking culture. It is common to hear of excessive violence in the CBD and more recently this concept has spread to suburban areas. Groups in position of authority have shown a tendency to accuse alcohol consumption of the dangers facing citizens.

In retaliation to these strategies, citizens tend to rebel using tactics. A string of violent attacks in Melbourne have been linked to alcohol consumption and demonstrate how drinking culture is not affected by the PR strategies conveyed. People tend to ignore the warnings of alcohol- fuelled violence and continue to indulge in drinking habits. Groups of teenagers engage in drunken brawls resulting in life threatening injuries (Xuereb, 2008). Due to the continuation of Melbourne’s drinking culture, public order has deteriorated as citizens refuse to obey the notion of controlling their consumption. That argument that Melbourne’s drinking culture is a characteristic of the city and promotes a positive social atmosphere also exists. Drinking in pubs in the city has become a way for citizens to create lines of communication (Graham, 2005). The notion of stemming alcohol consumption is thus ignored in favour of social enjoyment. Youth drinking culture in society is an example of how positive perceptions of alcohol outweigh the negatives. Many adolescents see alcohol consumption as providing “enjoyment, its qualities as asocial lubricant, its ability to relax and… its ability to bind them to a social group”(Taylor & Carroll). Melbourne’s drinking culture helps to demonstrate an aspect of the city as an entity. Via public relations, organisations attempt to dictate the image of the culture control drinking. Strategies are counteracted by tactics employed by the citizen body, who continue to drink in Melbourne despite negative perceptions of the culture.




THEATRE CULTURE This is an image of the Princess Theatre. The theatre is one of Melbourne’s most extravagant buildings and it is designed in an architectural Second Empire style. It has showcased an extensive list of the world’s renowned musical productions. The detailed architecture of the structure is prevalent in this image as is the golden tones of the exterior of the building. Its grand architecture has meant the theatre is now listed as a heritage building. This particular image was selected as the Princess Theatre has over time created a legacy in the city regarding theatre culture. This is representative of the greater Melbourne community. Theatre was initially introduced to Melbourne during the period of colonization and has created a new culture that helped shape the city’s identity (Aronson, 2000). Public Relations in Melbourne have sought to represent the city as the cultural capital of Australia (Travel Weekly, 2008). Melbourne has excelled in premiering international productions while Sydney shows a decline in theatrical community. This is indicative of the lack of interest expressed by the NSW Government (Westbury, 2009). This highlights PR’s role in demonstrating the city’s cultural value. This supports the role of PR in the city’s cultural value. PR applies strategies to highlight the prominence of theatre and artistic culture and the positive influence this has in society. Advertisements promoting the theatre demonstrate how Public relations attempt to convince the public of the positive aspects of attending productions. The messages presented accentuate the vibrancy of theatre culture and convince citizens of their desire to join the movement. These advertisements generally cater only to the more affluent members of society who share an interest in theatre productions (Turner & Edmunds, 2002). By exposing the community to a

number of famous musical productions, PR seeks to educate the masses and create hype for the support of artistic culture in Melbourne. These productions are advertised excessively in the city and this help increase awareness of the culture. It must be acknowledged that Public relations have generally promoted this concept of theatre culture to those in a financial situation to attend the theatre. Consequently, tactics have been employed by members of the lower classes of society to combat the notion that theatre reflects the most highly regarded form of entertainment in the city. The lower class engages in what is deemed popular culture or practices that do not require substantial amounts of money (Turner & Edmunds, 2002). The live music scene in the city is inexpensive and provides a form of musical entertainment for a difference audience. Attending the cinemas in Melbourne is also a popular low cost activity. These citizens rebel against the notion that theatre is the most culturally inspired form of entertainment by committing to alternative activities. The Princess Theatre gives rise to a discussion on the prominence of theatre culture in Melbourne and how Public Relations agencies employ this concept to help characterize the city. Strategies are incorporated into daily lives of citizens to promote theatre as a manner of refined expression. In response tactics are applied to reject the idea that the expensive theatre is the only cultured form of entertainment available.




GRAFFITI CULTURE The artwork in this image is a form of graffiti which has been approved by the Melbourne City Council. It comprises of tags and provides messages for observers. This particular compilation of graffiti is located opposite Degrave Street, in the café rich laneway of Centre Place. This particular laneway is not only unique for its cafés but also the extensive presence of graffiti. From the art in this image, the graffiti can be classified into two categories. These include wording and artistic designs. Images range from simplistic stickmen to elaborate and sophisticated illustrations. Wording is a prevalent feature of wall art which employs artistic designs to convey ordinary messages. Revolution of graffiti could be speculating from Rennie Ellis’s Australian Graffiti Revisited. 70’s graffiti shows mix of political, satirical toilet scrawls and billboard advertising. It reveals how graffiti can be a means to communicate with society (Ellis, R 2010). From a public relations perspective, graffiti is constantly presented with negative connotations. It is promoted as a form of vandalism. PR has sought to associate certain aspects of graffiti with a conceived criminal culture. Strategies have thus been employed to eradicate the issue. Millions of dollars have been spent to control it in Melbourne. The Melbourne City has launched a Graffiti Management Plan to eliminate the conceived graffiti problem. The plan was implemented in order to distinguish between unwanted graffiti and street art that is permitted to continue. Four tasks were introduced to control the production of graffiti. The first of these strategies is ‘engagement’ which seeks to allow graffiti artists to create a partnership with the council. ‘Eradication’ promotes the removal of unwanted graffiti and ‘education’ is employed to inform students on the difference between illegal and legal street art. Finally, ‘en-

forcement’ has seen the formation of a partnership between the Victoria Police and the community to report unwanted graffiti (City of Melbourne 2009). For many graffiti artists, public art is a unique tactic used to reflect the meaning of the city as an entity. It highlights a hidden aspect of society. The continued creation of graffiti is a tactic employed by graffiti artists against the negative associations that follow the art in society. Messages can include such concepts as of the joy of being alive (Halsey & Young 2006).The artists illustrate symbols and designs to express their perspectives of characteristics, critics and commentaries connected to the city. Graffiti can be viewed as an attempt to attract attention from a society that values conformity. Gangs of graffiti artists have been established to increase the prevalence of art work in the city as a manner of rebellion against the strategies applied by organisations in positions of authority. The increased graffiti contributes to the character of the city (Alonso 1998). Graffiti art serves the purpose of depicting an aspect of Melbourne and therefore contributes to the image of the city. It lines the walls of several laneways in the CBD consequently adding to the atmosphere of the location. Public Relations has demonstrated a desire to present graffiti in a negative light and strategies have been employed by organisations assist in the eradication of unwanted wall art. In spite of these strategies, graffiti artists have continued to rebel using tactics of their own. These tactics ensure that graffiti is not lost to the city of Melbourne.


REFERENCE LIST ARTEFACT 1 Chapman, H, Stillman, J 2005, Melbourne Then and Now, Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, California. Graham, K 2005, ‘Public Drinking then and now’, Contemporary Drug Problems, vol. 1, Edition 32, Spring, pp 45-56. Room, R 1988, ‘The dialect of drinking in Australian life: from the Rum Corps to the wine column’, Australian Drug and Alcohol Review, vol 7, pp 413-437. Stark, J. Fyfe, M. 2009. ‘Blitz on all-night bottle shops in a bid to curb alcohol fuelled violence’. The Age. May 19th 2010. Taylor. J, Carroll. T. Youth Alcohol Consumption : Experiences and Expectations. 2001. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra Xuereb, M. 2008. ‘Booze, violence mar weekend’. The Age. May 19th 2010.

ARTEFACT 2 Aronson, A (2000). American avant-garde theatre: a history. Routledge, New York, United States. pp1-40. (2008). Melbourne to Entertain. Travel Weekly. 04 (1), pp30-31. Turner, B.S & Edmunds, J. (2002). The Distaste of Taste: Bourdieu, cultural capital and the Australian postwar elite. Journal of Consumer Culture. 2 (2), pp1-2 Westbury, M. (2009). Should we be funding opera?. Available: should-we-be-funding-opera-20091123-itdn.html. Last accessed 28 May 2010

ARTEFACT 3 Harvey M, Stamer K, Cubrilo D (2009). The Beginning of Australian Graffiti: Melbourne 1983-93. Victoria: The Miegunyah Press. 1-3. Ellis R. (2010). Graffiti. Available: Last accessed 30 May 2010. MARK HALSEY AND ALISON YOUNG. (2006). Our desires are ungovernable’. Available: http://melbournegraffiti. com/news/AUG2006_Our_Desires_Are_Ungovernable.pdf. Last accessed 23 May 2010. Alex Alonso. (1998). Urban Graffiti on the City Landscape. Available: Last accessed 23 May 2010. City of Melbourne. (2009). Graffiti management plan. Available: Last accessed 23 May 2010.

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