Sydney's Bondi Beach during the NSW bushfires (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

I wonder what people around the world answer when asked what defines “Australia” or “Australian culture”.

Perhaps it's a few distinctive food items: lamingtons, Tim Tams and meat pies; or instead it's climate-denial, racism and an over-reliance on the Murdoch press. Maybe some people, when considering what defines us, imagine Western Desert dot painting, the music and bark-painting of the Yolngu people and, sadly, fake art boomerangs.

However, I suspect that what defines Australia to most of the rest of the world is beaches -- how beautiful our beaches are and how much Australians adore them.