Australian PrehistoryHistory - AustralianAustralian CultureAustralian Identity

Australian story


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"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"
- TS Eliot

First published: 2000

Political motivations of this site

When people think of "great" history, they usually think of history stories like Napoleon conquering Europe, Qin Shihuang building a clay army to protect him in death or the downcast citizens of America throwing off tyranny in a dream of human equality. The closest Australia has to such stories is colonial farmer John McCarthur removing the governor to protect his interests in the rum trade and a thousand miners raising the Eureka flag amongst stirring speeches only to see it torn down within 15 minutes of a British attack.

When compared to the great history of the world, the stories of sheep farmers and miners that made terrible soldiers seem rather diminutive. Furthermore, stories of drunkard orgies that accompanied the unloading of female Convicts and government welfare policies for Aborigines leading to social catastrophe for Aborigines not only are a dagger in the heart of national pride, but also for activists wanting to use history to justify interventionist government policy.

Even though Australian history doesn't lend itself to morality tales nor inspires jingoes to plant their hands over their hearts in praise, it offers a gold mine of complexities and incongruities for students of the human social condition. For that reason, this site (unlike the work of many journalists or academics) is not intended to change the world for the better; it is simply to explore and illuminate the peculiarities of human psychology within a real world context. Maybe such illumination could help people see the world in a more nuanced and complex way; however, “great” history is rarely based such thinking.

Referencing the author of this site

It is not necessary to cite the author of an article obtained online. Students merely need to state the title of the article, the web address and date of access.

As a resource that draws information from the web, from newspapers, from books, from academic publications, from life experience, and from conversations in the pub, sometimes it uses the Wikipedia style system, sometimes it used formal academic referencing and sometimes it uses the newspaper referencing system which relies on journalists quoting words and faith being extended that the journalist is being honest.