Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Australian Studies

Directions by William Deane & Sir William Deane by Tony Stephen

February 2003, no. 248

Does Australia have a soul? I have been asked this question recently, in slightly different ways, by Russian, German, and French friends. They comprehend that Australians have an identity, but their question is about something deeper than words. About what animates us at a profound level, and which is related to our identification with the land. They say Australians demonstrate many estimable qualities, but they think that, apart from the indigenous peoples, our roots are still shallow. They think we have shed our European histories but are culturally adolescent.

... (read more)

The morning ABC radio program AM is not a book program. But occasionally we’re pleased to take the opportunity to broadcast the story of a new book, particularly when it comments on Australian public affairs. When John Pilger’s A Secret Country was published, AM ran an interview with the author which was unusually long for us, some five or six minutes. The response was remarkable. In my two years as presenter of the program, I can’t recall as much listener interest in any item, judging by the number of telephone enquiries about the book we received in subsequent days.

... (read more)

As I write this, the Aboriginals have been forced to capitulate at Noonkanbah. The Western Australian Government is hell-bent that Amax should drill on the Blacks’ sacred site, and the National Aboriginal Conference is in Geneva to state its case at the United Nations. Patterns of Australia, funded to the tune of $120,000 by Mobil, one of the most powerful trans-nationals the world has ever known, could not have been published at a more appropriate time. Although author Geoffrey Dutton deals dutifully with the Aboriginals in the course of this book, Noonkanbah or what it stands for – energy resources, land rights and the exploitative activities of trans-nationals – is not one of the ‘patterns’ (along with many others) discussed in this smooth coffee table creation.

... (read more)
Page 3 of 3