Craving historical tradition, longing for a deeply rooted past, and uncertain of the place of Aboriginal Australia within both its past and present, Australia has long struggled to reconcile its colonial history with an increasingly confident, optimistic and patriotic self image. The rise of Anzac Day as a focal point of national communion in recent decades has occurred at the same time as fiercely contested public debates over frontier history and the stolen generations. In this lecture Mark McKenna asks whether the anxiety over Australia’s search for a foundational history has finally come to an end.
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