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A PLACE IN THE SUN: RECREATING THE AUSTRALIAN WAY OF LIFE

by Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis


In recent years, the debate about Australia's cultural identity has become intense and at times bitter. The main points of contention are around the issues of immigration, multiculturalism, Native Title, Indigenous Reconciliation, our location in Asia and the Republic. So, what is the character of Australia and where are we going as a country?
A Place in the Sun captures the Australian sensibility at the turn of a new century, and a century after becoming a federated nation. It strips away the myth and the superstition and responds forcefully and eloquently to the current debate about Australian identity.

This book is a comprehensive and accessible introduction, as well as an important contribution, to what is often a complex and vexing debate. How do we, as a nation of immigrants, become more comfortable with our diversity? How do we work towards a settlement of the unfinished business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? How do we become a country that is comfortably a part of Asia? And how might we develop as a nation that eventually stands on its own constitutional feet as a republic?

Thirty-four Australians, from captains of industry and ex-prime ministers to community leaders, are questioned on their assessment of contemporary Australia and their hopes for the nation's future. These are all ordinary Australians who have gone on to contribute extraordinarily to Australian society. Sometimes difficult and unsettling dialogues result. Yet these dialogues also reflect the journey of a nation and its promise for the future.
A Place in the Sun explores the enduring features of the 'Australian Way of Life', and its historical, geographical and political foundations. It is an optimistic book, a book that offers solutions as well as posing problems. It describes the journey that Australia has taken, and imagines what we could still be.

Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope have become the unofficial spokespersons on behalf of what is often derisively referred to as 'the multicultural industry'. They are great communicators and prolific column writers in newspapers throughout Australia.

Professor Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University. Dr Bill Cope is a former Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and now Director of the Centre for Workplace Communication and Culture, a research and training centre affiliated with RMIT.

 


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