Australia’s symbolic head of state, the Governor-General, is appointed by what many in Australia consider to be a ‘foreign power’ – the English Crown. The current sovereign of Australia, to use her correct title, is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. This relationship symbolises better than any other, the tangible reality of Australia’s enduring relationship with its past. While conservative scholars, media commentators and leaders of industry continue to urge Australians to look to the future, rather than the past for cultural and economic inspiration of what is possible in the ‘Lucky Country’, even the most optimistic gaze continues to be obscured by the legacies of British Dominion. Sarah Maddison, Associate Professor in School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of New South Wales, confronts this problem in her new book Beyond White Guilt. She refers to is as Australia’s ‘long colonial shadow’.
Copyright © Greg Lehman 2011. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.