So Who the Bloody Hell Are We?
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Is there any myth more pervasive than that of egalitarian Australia? Mates look out for one another and good honest hard work is rewarded in the land of opportunity. Probably best not look too closely at how refugees and Aborigines, women and the workers fare in the Lucky Country. Still, she’ll be right.
Stuart Macintyre has been chair of the Heritage Council of Victoria since 2015, and is regarded as one of Australia's most influential historians.
He's the former Dean of Arts at the University of Melbourne, and is Emeritus Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne and a Professorial Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.
Monica Dux is a columnist with the Age, and the author of Things I Didn’t Expect (when I was expecting) (2013), co-author of The Great Feminist Denial (2008), and editor of the forthcoming anthology Mothermorphosis (April 2015). She can be heard regularly on ABC radio and 3RRR, and has published widely, especially on women’s issues. Monica is a founding board member of the Stella Prize.
David Manne is a human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Refugee Legal (previously the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined Refugee Legal, at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity and the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants.
Damien, a qualified lawyer, joined the ABC in 1996 as the producer of ABC Radio National’s Law Report and in 2001 became the presenter. In the past he has worked as a legal writer for the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission and written for Australian Lawyer magazine.
Melissa Lucashenko is a Goorie writer whose work celebrates Aboriginal people and others living around the margins of the First World. Her latest novel, Too Much Lip, won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance. Her novel Mullumbimby was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and Stella Prize, shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Award, and won the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing.
National identity is built on the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. What are the defining clichés that make up and shape Australian identity? From the battler to mateship, larrikin spirit to the cry of ‘no worries’, is there any truth to the way we see ourselves or is it all an outdated, self-serving furphy?