What is the significance and origins of the bush legend and other images in early Australian literature?

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During the course of Australia's history, many historians, writers, poets and others have attempted to put their finger on and establish an authentic or 'real' Australian identity for the relatively young population. One of the important and prolific images or legends is the Bush legend. The bush legend has been a theme of great debate over the years and two historians who have participated in this debate are Russel Ward in his 'Australian Legend' written …

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…legend presented by Ward and Davison. On the one hand Davison's bush legend was an invention by intelligentsia as a positive response to the negative attitudes to the city. And on the other hand, Ward's bush legend grew from the experiences of the workers in the harsh environment of the bush. Regardless of which is more correct, the Australian image of the bush was and is still a very powerful and prominent image of Australia.