Griffith REVIEW 19: Re-imagining Australia

Julianne Schultz (Editor)

Published by ABC Books, 2008
ISBN 10: 0733322816 / ISBN 13: 9780733322815
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first edition edition. 272 pages. 9.20x6.00x0.60 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0733322816

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Synopsis: Australia is a product of political imagination. The boldness of the vision that turned a continent into a nation was remarkable. It was not without fault, but it was a big idea - pragmatic, progressive and bristling with possibility.

It is now time to re-imagine Australia again, to learn from the past and imagine a future for a new century.

Leading legal activist George Williams declares the system of government has passed its use-by date with antiquated rules of democracy that limit involvement. He proposes a way to repair this and build on the traditions of the past to solve the blame game that paralyzes change in Australia. This is a compelling, once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Re-imagining Australia is not a political wish list. It paints the big picture of how the nation evolved and where it might go. It is optimistic and tough minded - personal, political and unpredictable.

Other contributors include Peter Beattie, Tom Morton, Geoff Gallop, Virginia Duigan, Peter Cochrane, Phillip Edmonds, Bruce Elder, AJ Brown, Tim Chandler, Chris Wallace, Marcia Langton, Kim Mahood, Jenny Bowler, James Woodford, Barry Hill, Wayne McLennan, Ien Ang, Maria Tumarkin, Oren Seidler and Robert Drewe. Photo essay by Rusty White.

Review: For those unfamiliar with Griffith REVIEW, it's a quarterly periodical that includes essays, reportage, memoir, fiction, poetry and artwork, with each edition dedicated to contemporary themes.Re-imagining Australia is particularly pertinent given the nation has elected a new federal government. Editor Julianne Schultz has asked her 22 contributors to draw lessons from the past in order to re-imagine a future Australia.

Legal scholar George Williams starts off quite boldly, stating that Australia's system of government needs renovation, Peter Beattie argues it's time for a National Constitutional Convention to define the roles of both the Commonwealth and the states and Peter Cochrane muses whether scholarship on Australian history can be written to interest the general public. Elsewhere, Bruce Elder explores Henry Lawson's realistic and unforgiving writings on the bush as opposed to compatriot Banjo Paterson's more rosy images, and James Woodford suggests it makes ecological sense to put kangaroo on the menu. Ien Ang redefines multiculturalism and on the fiction front, Robert Drewe reflects on belonging and sea and tree changes. --The Melbourne Age

Writing with passion and verve, Marcia Langton drags the debate over Indigenous communities back from two extremes - those who refuse to face up to the problems within Indigenous families and communities and those who try to turn this everyday lived crisis into a one-dimensional spectacle. Writing on the basis of her own deep experience as a researcher impatient at equivocation and neglect, she responds positively to the aims and much of the detail of the Howard governments intervention in the Northern Territory and warns governments against backing away from the enormous challenges facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This is an uncompromising but not pessimistic view of how good intentions and over-simplifications have dogged Indigenous policy for decades despite the great body of evidence which shows where funds and efforts can most fruitfully be directed. By advancing a persuasive and deeply felt point of view Marcia Langtons essay [Trapped in the Aboriginal reality show] forces readers to reassess their attitudes and preconceptions. --Judges comments for The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate in the 2008 Victorian Premiers Literary Awards

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Griffith REVIEW 19: Re-imagining Australia
Publisher: ABC Books
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Brand New

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