100 Years: The Australian Story by Paul Kelly

By Paul Kelly

Containing large 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 customers for the long run. 5 subject matters are explored: young children of the Empire; the increase and fall of white Australia; the land of the reasonable pass; the gradual march to reconciliation; and the farewell to nice and robust neighbors.

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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. They wanted to know that this couldn’t happen again. We were prepared to do a lot to invest in the future. The Snowy Mountains Scheme was one example of that investment in the future. Nationbuilding in a material sense and bringing more people here in a people sense were very important ingredients of Australian policy of the day.

The 1930s were dominated by the legacy of the Great Depression. Australia’s confidence was low and it clung to a weakened Empire. In 1931 Britain completed the pledge it made at the 1926 Imperial Conference—it passed the Statute of Westminster, to come into force on 11 December 1931. This was to establish the legislative independence of the dominions. It abolished Britain’s right to overrule the laws of the dominions and it permitted a dominion parliament to legislate without reference to the laws of Britain.

As a member of the British Commonwealth, Australia is strong’. ’ For Latham, race and kinship meant a trust between Australia and Britain that transcended practical or theoretical constitutional inferiority. This argument is now known as the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ view of politics. It has been recycled throughout Australia’s history. It is an intellectual key to Australian conservatism. It was the same argument advanced by John Howard 70 years later against the 1999 republic referendum.

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