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
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.