What is Happening is Real

Janie Conway-Herron


Australia’s history parallels the movement of modernity towards neo-colonial enterprises encapsulated in globalisation, while Australian identity lends itself to the fragmentation inherent in the conflicting discourses of national identification that make up its history. The psychology derived from this is startlingly apparent in our more recent history as we battle to come to terms with new and insidious incursions into Indigenous human rights. The bicentenary year gave Australia an opportunity to highlight the “coming of age” that emerged from being mature enough to admit that white Australia has a black history. A tension between a utopian notion held by some that the celebrations marked a time when Australia had reached a coming of age and others who were ambivalent about the nature of the celebrations has led to a reevaluation of Australian ideas of nationhood. What is Happening is Real is an exploration of the tensions that gave rise to a continuing engagement in the ongoing challenges that 1988 presented to all Australians.


australian identity; indigenous human rights; cultural challenges

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co20115102-111


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