Get PDF Quarterly Essay 11 Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way to Nationhood

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Veracini - Aboriginal History Vol Absorbing the 'Aboriginal problem': controlling interracial marriage in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Katherine Ellinghaus - Aboriginal History Vol Stove - National Observer Autumn Does Australian History Have a Future?

Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way to Nationhood

A New Deal? Clio or Janus? Conceptual blockages and definitional dilemmas in the 'racial century': genocides of indigenous peoples and the Holocaust by A. Moses - Patterns of Prejudice ,,7 - The Holocaust, the Aborigines, and the bureaucracy of destruction: an Australian dimension of genocide by Paul R.

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Bartrop - Journal of Genocide Research , 3 1 , Coming to terms with genocidal pasts in comparative perspective: Germany and Australia by A. Sanders, J. Taylor and K. Namatjira and the Burden of Citizenship Julie T. Wells and Michael F. Christie - Australian Historical Studies , Making a Difference: a s partnership opposing racial discrimination by Sue Taffe - Overland My memory of events thirty years ago may not be exactly correct but I have read recently that Howard entered Federal politics in the general election in , the election that returned the Whitlam Government.

As best I can figure out, that was the first election in which I was legally entitled to vote and, given that voting is compulsory in Australia, it was the first election in which I cast a ballot. So Howard has been a part of my visual and auditory landscape for the whole of my political life.

It is not something I look back on very kindly. Howard's political history is long and detailed: he became Minister for Special Trade Negotiations in and then Treasurer in Fraser's Government in ; he was Leader of the Opposition more times than I care to remember, and was finally elected Prime Minister the position he had always coveted in March He has been in that position ever since, recently becoming the second longest-serving PM in the nation's history, only behind his hero Robert Menzies.

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Whichever way you look at it, whatever side of politics you find yourself on, you have to admit that John Howard is the consummate Australian politician of his generation. No one has had anything like the effect on the Australian ethos and the way Australia is viewed by the rest of the world.

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Bill Bryson may not be able to remember his name from one week to the next, but George Bush sure knows where and who he is. And that state of affairs might have more to say about where this country currently finds itself than I care to think about. Australia has changed in the past ten years or so, and changed for the worse. I'm not one to hark back to the days of my youth and see a wide land of sunny skies and bright, smiley people.

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The country I grew up in the sixties and early seventies was a gauche, insular backwater. Nouvelle cuisine was defined as putting mayonnaise on your fish and chips.

The pubs shut at six o'clock and indigenous Australians weren't counted in the census, let alone having the right to vote. And then things started to change in the early seventies. Whitlam was elected in , the Vietnam War ended, and a new wave of immigrants started to arrive in this country from South East Asia bringing with them a new social order.

And in this midst of all this stood John Howard, alone of his Federal cabinet colleagues so the story goes to vote against allowing the "boat people" of the late seventies special immigration status. While everyone at that time was looking ahead, Howard harked back to the fifties with its white picket fences; husband, wife and three kids on a suburban quarter-acre block; and only white faces as far as the eye could see. I hated it.


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I hated the whole idea that what I saw as the "Australian way of life" - a classless society where everyone is given a fair go regardless of race, colour or creed - was being subverted into a division of the "haves" and "have nots". And I started to be ashamed to say I was Australian. How could I justify my love of the country and its people when the only face it showed to the world was a narrow-minded, bigoted, selfish nature?

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