The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity

Tim Watts

The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity
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The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity

Tim Watts

John Howard was the unlikely reformer of Australian society. He loosened migration laws, massively boosting the population and making it less white. Simultaneously, his divisive rhetoric about national identity-a legacy of White Australia-hamstrung discussion of these huge changes.

As the MP for a diverse electorate, the partner of a Hong-Kong-Chinese-Australian and father of Eurasian-Australians, and the descendant of a proponent of laws stopping Chinese people from coming here, Tim Watts asks: Why don’t we remember Billy Sing, the Chinese-Australian sharpshooter at Gallipoli, or that Ararat was founded by Chinese miners? Why is Australia’s imagined community so far behind our lived community?

The Golden Country challenges us to reckon with the dark heart of Federation, the racial core of the Australian Legend, and to confront outdated notions of Australianness. It crunches the numbers on the economic and social effects of migration, and looks to a more inclusive future.

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