By Paul Kelly
Containing broad interviews with a few of Australia's prior and current leaders, this booklet examines over a century of the Australian state, its humans, its significant occasions, and its clients for the longer term. 5 issues are explored: childrens of the Empire; the increase and fall of white Australia; the land of the reasonable cross; the sluggish march to reconciliation; and the farewell to nice and robust acquaintances.
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Containing huge interviews with a few of Australia's earlier and current leaders, this booklet examines over a century of the Australian kingdom, its humans, its significant occasions, and its clients for the long run. 5 topics are explored: teenagers of the Empire; the increase and fall of white Australia; the land of the reasonable pass; the sluggish march to reconciliation; and the farewell to nice and robust associates.
Additional info for 100 Years: The Australian Story
The document referred to ‘self-governing communities of Great Britain and the Dominions’. They were ‘autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown’. The word independence was not used but its meaning was implied. It was a constitutional revolution. The Governor-General would henceforth represent the King, not the British Government. He would be appointed by Australian ministers not British ministers, act on the advice of Australian ministers, not British ministers, and become part of the Australian system of government, no longer the British system.
It tells us a lot about Australia then and something not quite so favourable about Australia now. Australians did have a sense of commitment to the future. We’d had a very nasty escape during the war. The enemy came very close. Darwin was heavily bombed. Sydney had been attacked and New Guinea nearly collapsed. If it wasn’t for the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway . . it was only those two naval battles that prevented the invasion taking place. Australians wanted something better. They wanted something more secure.
In the process Australians are starting to appreciate better the Crown’s former role as a unifying force. They are starting to realise that the republic must also be a unifying force if it is to prevail. It must bring people together. The pretence that being pro-Empire meant betraying Australia’s real interests is an orthodoxy about our history still held with passion. It is a tragic interpretation because it turns Australia’s history into a caricature. It reduces Deakin, Hughes, Menzies and even Curtin to the level of craven toadies.
100 Years: The Australian Story by Paul Kelly